To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
I should like to comment on a few points in connection with the CRIMSON editorial of Wednesday, March 15, on the standardization of Radcliffe room rates.
The basic problem, of course, is overcrowding and no method of distribution can solve this. Radcliffe has recognized for a long time the need for additional undergraduate dormitory facilities, which now have very high priority in our development needs. I'll plead guilty to spotlighting an unfortunate situation but not to creating it.
I believe we are agreed that the distribution of rooms is of vital importance because it touches on educational opportunity in college. It is precisely for this reason, and because I do not consider it a luxury item, that in my opinion ability to pay should not be the criterion used in assigning rooms. No room-drawing system can provide better facilities where they do not exist, but neither, may I add, does it worsen the physical situation. I am troubled by the implication in your editorial that those students whose families' financial situation is less favorable are thereby better prepared psychologically to write their these in double rooms.
It is true that we have decided that ability to pay should not be a determining factor in the allocation of rooms, but I think your editorial does not make it sufficiently clear that with this exception the formulation of all policies and procedures governing the choice of rooms has been guided by the students themselves. A committee set up by the Board of Hall Presidents worked long and hard on the present system, which was brought back to the Board of Hall Presidents for approval. I am confident that any suggestions for improvements for another year will be welcomed by the Board.
Perhaps there is a better approach than the one we are now using. I regret the physical limitations that impose the problem but I fail to understand the basis for the assertion that a flock of new discriminatory practices have been created by the elimination of the former basis of allocation according to ability to pay, which your editorial admits to be discriminatory. Mary I. Bunting President of Radcliffe College.