The Committee on Houses established a special sub-committee yesterday to study and report on the impact Mather House, the College's planned 10th House, will have on the University when it opens.
Harvard currently faces a two--and possibly three-way choice of action in regard to Mather House's opening. It can end all off-campus living for undergraduates, or it can deconvert rooms in the existing Houses and at the same increase room rents to defray the additional operating expenses of the new House. The third possibility, increasing the size of Harvard College classes to fill the new House, is considered unlikely.
Report in December
The new sub-committee has been asked to study the possibilities Mather House raises and present a report and recommendations to the full committee. Dean Ford, chairman of the Committee on Houses, said the report would probably be ready by the full committee's regular December meeting.
Richard T. Gill '48, Master of Leverett House, was named yesterday to chair the new sub-committee. The other members named to it were Charles W. Dunn, Master of Quincy House, Zeph Stewart, Master of Lowell House, Arthur D. Trottenberg, assistant dean of the Faculty for Resources and Planning, and F. Skiddy von Stade Jr. '38, dean of freshmen.
Ford said after the meeting that the sub-committee would probably concern itself chiefly with the first two choices for Mather House--deconversion and higher rents or ending off-campus living.
On expanding Harvard College classes, he said, "The Committee has never seriously raised that possibility, but theoretically, they (the sub-committee members) have a right to raise that if they want to."
Last Spring when discussing the likelihood of naming such a sub-committee Ford had proposed that "responsible discussion with student groups," such as the Harvard Undergraduate Council, be included in its study.
He said last night that he doubted if the sub-committee would consult with the HUC formally on the issue. But the full committee will do some talking with students and polling in all the Houses, Ford said. In addition, the dean of the Faculty said he expected to discuss the alternatives for Mather at the dinner he has annually with HUC members. No date has been scheduled yet for that dinner.
Mather House is currently scheduled to open in Fall, 1969. Ford said the Committee on Houses did not really have to make its recommendations to the Corporation until then, but he added, "I think we ought to have some agreement before this year is over. It is a job for this year."
The new 10th House, which is planned the house 400 men, will add an estimated $150,000 to the annual operating costs of the Houses.