Last Friday night undergraduates in the Houses were able to entertain their dates in their rooms until midnight for the first time. The change in the parietal rules had been voted unanimously by the Faculty last Tuesday and went into effect immediately.
It was particularly encouraging that the Faculty was so responsive to the majority of undergraduates who had signed a petition over a month ago requesting parietal revision. The Committee on the Houses--which recommended the change to the Faculty--confronted the issue on its own merits and did not delay the change in order to evaluate "the future direction of the House system."
Most of the credit for the undergraduate initiative must go to the leadership of the Harvard Undergraduate Council. Early this fall, led by its president, Gregory B. Craig '67, the HUC decided to mount a campaign to change parietal rules. The potentially explosive issue was tactfully kept below the surface while they sounded out Faculty opinion. In this way HUC was able to prevent any of the Masters from being affronted by what might have appeared "pressure group tactics." After several weeks, the HUC issued a well-written report suggesting various changes in the rules. Only after the Masters had met informally, did they circulate the petition among the students at large.
At this stage, it would be appropriate if the Faculty, and possibly the HUC, took a look at freshman parietals. After all, the freshmen are only a year younger than the sophomores and should be allowed to entertain their dates on Saturday evenings until midnight on a regular basis too. The latitude the Faculty has given upperclassmen in conducting their own social affairs ought to be extended, as far as possible, to the freshmen.