To the Editors of The Crimson:
We, as members of the North House Committee, were very disturbed by the May 15 account of freshman housing assignments. The article was characterized by glaring distortions of fact and by a slanted overall tone unjustiably directed against the Radcliffe Houses. We feel that such articles unfortunately tend to perpetuate false impressions of the Radcliffe Houses -- far more damaging than the effect feared by Dean Austin.
To claim that no members of the Class of 1975 were assigned to Harvard Houses not among their five choices is absurd. We at Redcliffe remember the sad tales of many women in the Class of 1975 faced with an assignment to one of the low-ratio Harvard Houses without having cited it as a choice, a phenomenon carried into this year as well.
Furthermore, claims that the dissatisfaction stems primarily from Radcliffe assignments is an apparent distortion of the situation. The 15 per cent of the Freshman Class who were not placed in any choice represents roughly 240 people, only 85 of whom were assigned to Radcliffe. In addition, the article implies that the dissatisfaction is somehow related to the quotas assigned by the CHUL. In that both men and women were assigned to Radcliffe without listing it as an option, it seems inescapable that at least 85 people would have been dissatisfied with a Radcliffe assignment regardless of any established ratio. In particular, if the number of women assigned to the Quad had been reduced by ten or more, this figure would presumably increase, in that men not listing Radcliffe would take the places of women who had.
Finally, the last paragraph seems to imply that the number of people returning to the Radcliffe Houses is small. This number is larger than last year by a wide margin and represents a commitment by over 40 per cent of the Quad freshmen to return to the Quad with its atmosphere and distinctive life style, despite the temptation of far larger accommodations in the Harvard Houses, which seems to represent a strong display of support for the Radcliffe Houses. The North House Committee