The University currently has no plans to stock basements recently designated as fallout shelters according to L. Gard Wiggins, Administrative Vice President.
Wiggins said the University had previously agreed to cooperate with the Federal Civil Defense authorities in establishing five shelters on an experimental basis and that signs were posted last week in accordance with that agreement.
Although the Civil Defense agency is supposed to stock the shelters with food and medical facilities, it has given the University no indication of when the basements will be stocked, or specifically what will go in them. According to Wiggins, "Harvard will pay nothing for equipping the shelters."
Declining to comment on student criticism of the shelters, Wiggins said the University's cooperation with the Civil Defense agency "does not mean Harvard has taken a judgment on the value of the program."
Wiggins also refused to discuss the wisdom of putting up shelter signs before the designated areas are equipped with food and radiation detection materials. "The students have a right to their opinions on that," he said.
As the shelters will not be operated by the University, there will be no restrictions on their usage, Wiggins said. Cambridge citizens as well as students would be granted access to the basements.
Several students have been vocal in their opposition to the shelter program. Signs in Dunster House have been repeatedly removed, forcing the University to rivet them to the walls. Radcliffe girls have also removed signs in the quad.
Dean Monro observed that the shelters were only for fallout, and could only be useful if a nuclear attack were "quite some distance" from Boston. Many students have pointed out that shelters at Harvard would be totally useless if a nuclear bomb fell anywhere near Boston.