Perkins Joins Masters Favoring Smaller Class
Wants to Ease Overcrowding
Elliott Perkins '23, Master of Lowell House, yesterday joined the ranks of Masters who favor a smaller class of '65, but declared that "the Administration will probably not pay attention to my views. I've been expressing them on and off for five years."
Perkins claimed that the Masters did not take part in a decision late last spring to increase the class of '64 by about 35 students, thus contradicting a recent statement by Fred L. Glimp, Dean of Admissions. Glimp said last week that the Masters had agreed to accommodate the extra students when they became sophomores.
The Master of Eliot House, John H. Finley, r. '25, also declared that Glimp's statement was "wrong." Glimp was in New York last night and unavailable for comment.
Supporting his wish for a smaller freshman class, Perkins recalled the pre-War days when "everybody knew everybody else in his own House." "Today," he said, "you have to introduce seniors to each other on commencement day."
Perkins favored reducing the class to 1170, or even 1130 resident students in order to ease crowding in rooms and "pressure" on House libraries. There are currently about 1190 resident freshmen.
Ideally, Perkins said, Lowell House should have 10 or 20 less occupants than the 426 it will house next year.
Perkins also opposed expanding the College by adding additional Houses. "Theoretically, you could go on building Houses forever, but it would have an adverse effect on the character of Harvard."
Finley disagreed. "In the mind of God," he said, "nine Houses is not too many, although 15 would be too large a number." But he supported Perkins' view that fewer students should be admitted next year.
"All the Houses are obviously overcrowded," Finley said. Eliot House, "which was built for 300 students," now houses more than 400, he noted.
In addition to Perkins and Finley, Masters Reuben A. Brower of Adams House and John M. Bullitt '43 of Quincy have advocated fewer freshmen next year.