Continued overcrowding in the Houses will force 50 to 60 men to live off-campus next fall, Dean Watson has disclosed. Thirty upperclassmen who are living off-campus this year will continue to do so in the fall, and another 20 to 30 were given permission to live out when room contracts were signed in February.
The College originally had hoped to cut down on the number of students living off-campus, but this year's large entering class made it impossible for the Houses to accomodate all the upperclassmen in the College.
Despite the expected overcrowding, the College will continue with the gradual deconversion of rooms which began in 1950. Watson said that about five units each would be deconverted in Kirkland and Winthrop House, and another one or two units in Lowell and Dunster.
He explained that Kirkland and Winthrop were more overcrowded than the rest of the Houses, "simply because of their architecture." "I hope that we can continue to deconvert each year even in the old Houses," Watson explained.
Deconversion is the process of turning a triple that was once a double back into a double.
The College's stated aim is to provide individual bedrooms plus a living room for each group of roommates, but this is expected to take some time.
The problem of overcrowding goes back to the 1940's, when students and ox-GI's returning to Harvard swelled the size of the undergraduate body, forcing the College to take emergency housing measures.
Several times the overcrowding got so bad that new freshmen were bedded down in cots in the I.A.B. at the begining of the term until they could be stuffed into already-overcrowed suites in the dormitories.