Leighton Recommends Two Additional Houses
Dean Leighton has called for two new Houses in order to meet present overcrowding. In his annual report for 1955-56 to President Pusey, Leighton said the new facilities are needed "without any expansion in enrollment" in order to achieve "any satisfactory attainment of the objectives of the House Plan."
Leighton said the College should aim for an average House enrollment of 325, as contrasted to the 418 average last year. This, along with overcrowding in freshman dormitories, has put residence at 149 percent of pre-war capacity. He added that 44 percent of the undergraduates still have to use the double-decker beds introduced to meet postwar conditions.
The dean also suggests the establishment of a new center for commuting students. Leighton concedes that it would be desirable for commuters to live in Houses, but he points out that because of the cost there is really no practical possibility of expanding the capacity of the Houses to that extent.
The alternative, he suggests, is to build a relatively inexpensive separate center which will provide common rooms, conference rooms, quarters for a resident Master and all the other usual facilities of a House, except individual bedrooms.
President Pusey in his annual report to the Overseers endorsed this proposal as "a thoroughly workable solution." Although there has been unofficial endorsement of the idea before, this is the first time that a "House without beds" has received public support from an administration official.
Last fall, Pusey called for one House immediately, and two more as quickly as possible to meet critical overcrowding and the press of more applicants. He added that with these three Houses it might be possible for the College to expand its present enrollment by 20 percent in the next 10 years.