To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Your editorial, "Subway Shift," and your news story on commuters indicate that I failed to make myself clear in talking with your reporter. It's not a matter of earth-shaking importance, but since several CRIMSON readers have been puzzled by my reported views, I would appreciate it if you would give me enough space to correct the misunderstanding.
I do not predict or favor an expansion of the College by a thousand students, commuters or residents. In fact, I have been and continue to be strongly opposed to any increase in the size of the College. The Admissions Committee does not, however, determine the size of the College, and it is possible that the decision will be, eventually, to expand. But whatever happens I cannot believe that any future administration will be so misguided as to add a thousand commuters to the Harvard student body.
What I did say to your inquiring reporter as a casual observation in the course of a general discussion of the commuter problem was that Harvard probably could, if it wanted to, find a thousand qualified commuters a generation hence who would be glad to be at Harvard. If in the 1970's we have ten thousand admission candidates a year instead of the present four thousand, we will presumably have to deny admission each year to students as good as at least half of the present Harvard student body. In other words, half of the present readers and editors of the CRIMSON wouldn't make it in that kind of competition. Furthermore, in 1975 they won't make it to Yale or Princeton or M.I.T. or Amherst or Williams or similar colleges. If, and I profoundly hope this doesn't happen, it is decided in the face of this kind of pressure to enlarge Harvard by a thousand, and if either the money or the space for additional Houses and dormitories cannot be found, then one easy answer would be to expand the number of commuting students. But, I neither predict nor recommend this. All I was trying to do was to suggest various theoretical possibilities... W. J. Bender, Dean of Admissions.