The Committee on Houses decided yesterday "to take no action at this time" on the Harvard Undergraduate Council's proposal to extend parietal hours.
Dean Ford, chairman of the Committee, said the Masters and Deans did not rule out the possibility of putting parietals on their agenda later this year. But he also said he thought his colleagues were "quite sick of it" as an issue.
The Masters and Deans also rebuffed the HUC's request for a formal meeting with the Committee on Houses to discuss the parietal issue. But they decided to get together with the HUC on an informal basis.
Ford each Fall invites the HUC to a dinner at which the other college deans are also guests. This year, the dean said he will also invite the Masters. In effect, then, almost the entire Committee on Houses will attend.
But Ford emphasized that the dinner would in no way be a joint session of two committees to confer on an issue. He said, simply, "the parietal issue may come up at dinner." He added, "there are plenty of precedents for this kind of meeting."
Daniel B. Magraw Jr. '68, president of the HUC, said several days ago that he hoped the Committee on Houses would agree to meet with the HUC "as soon as possible" because "this issue is pressing in view of the overwhelming student opinion in favor of an extension."
But Magraw refused to comment last night on any portion of Ford's statement because he said he had no official report of the committee's decision.
Magraw said that to his knowledge no effort had been made to inform any member of the HUC of the action by the Masters and deans.
"It is unbelievable to me that they would talk to the CRIMSON--a third party--without telling the representatives of the students what they have decided." Magraw said.
Ford said it had been the "unanimous view" of the Committee on Houses yesterday that no new arguments for extended parietals had been presented. "We talked a lot about this last year," he said, "and we're not ready to go into again until some new arguments are put forward."
Ford would not say what arguments the Masters and Deans had used against the parietal extension. "That's not the way the shoe rubs," he said. "Those who wish to change parietals are the ones who need the arguments," he said.
The Masters placed "no particular weight" Ford said, on the HUC's poll in which, according to HUC representatives, 2605 students favored the parietal extension and 171 opposed it. Ford said the Masters "noted the conditions under which the poll was conducted in the various Houses." He would not specify what reservations the Masters had about the poll.