In the wake of Thursday night's riot, University officials will probably make an informal attempt to limit the use of dogs by Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) Police in future student disturbances.
Most officials feel that the presence of the dogs did more to inflame the riot than to quell it. They blamed the MDC's mistake on inexperience in handling student demonstrations.
"They've learned their lesson--we hope," one official said. He added, however, that in view of the MDC's unfamiliarity with students they had been quite patient. "They could have easily begun pulling their billy clubs."
A University spokesman is expected to discuss the dogs at a meeting with the MDC in the near future, when he asks for more police protection in the Weeks Bridge area. The Administration is seeking the MDC's aid to halt increasingly frequent attacks on students near the bridge.
Meanwhile, Dean Watson revealed yesterday that he would "ask the Administrative Board to be very lenient" on students whose bursar's cards had been taken during the riot. He said that most students had behaved themselves "very well indeed," but warned that in the future the College would be forced to take "much more serious disciplinary measures."
Watson was piqued, however, at the false fire-alarms turned in Thursday, and said that if it is discovered Harvard students set the alarms, more serious action might be taken. One such alarm brought five Cambridge fire engines to the Radcliffe Quad.
The three Harvard students arrested by the MDC Thursday night were released the next morning along with four others. The MDC did not press charges against any of them.
In contrast to their dissatisfaction with the MDC's handling of the demonstration, University officials had nothing but praise for the Cambridge police.
"In no other college city or town that I know of are the police so good in dealing with students," he said. For most of the night Cambridge officers merely followed the crowd of more than a thousand without making any forceful attempt to break up the demonstration.