Two Tragedies In a Week
Two days after Thanksgiving. Ethel P. Higonnet, a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, was murdered in Longfellow Park one block from her home on Bradbury Street. The following Tuesday, Barbara Brown, a Harvard secretary, was seriously injured when an assailant threw a brick at her head for no apparent reason.
Both crimes, which occurred shortly after dark and in relatively affluent areas near the University, dramatized the need for more effective safety precautions--a need to which the University last week began to respond.
Stephen S.J. Hall, vice president for Administration, announced that all secretaries working for the administration will be permitted to leave work in time to get home before dark.
However, Hall said he would leave it to the discretion of individual supervisors to work out the details of the plan with their employees.
Harvard also set up a standing committee to study violent crimes in the Harvard community. Although the committee was established about 12 days ago before last week's assaults, a statement outlining the committee's functions was made public Monday.
Hall will chair the committee which includes President Horner, Charles U. Daly, vice president for Government and Community Affairs, James Vorenberg '49, director of the Center for Criminal Justice, Captain Francis Pisani of the Cambridge police and Captain George Walsh and Lieutenant George Hill of the Harvard police.
Exactly what direction the committee's work will take is unclear as administrators are still awaiting from police further details about both crimes.
Patrols and additional lighting along the Boston bank side of the John W. Weeks Bridge were the only plans suggested at the committee's first meeting last Monday. That proposal stemmed from the assaults of several students en route to their cars in the Business School parking lot.
While the committee searches for additional concrete measures to safeguard the area, police are stressing the need for students and employees to take measures to protect themselves.
Several administrators--citing the shuttle bus and the new door locks--similarly have indicated their beliefs that past a certain point, the safety of students and employees rests ultimately on their own cautiousness.