To the Editors of The Crimson:
Brooks Peed was correct in reporting that I informed prospective resident tutors about the Administration's ban against "cohabitation." He erred, however, in saying I had "refused to explain the source" of my interpretation of the University's position. What I did refuse to do, of course, was to discuss with Mr. Peed any part of the contents of a confidential letter that, so far as I then knew, remained confidential.
Though some Masters have roundly resented the Administration's setting rules in this area, I doubt whether any would deny that the Administration has in fact taken a clear stand--and with a good deal more than the usual force. On November 7, 1973, Zeph Stewart, then chairman of the Masters, reminded his colleagues of President Bok's position (I quote this with Master Stewart's permission):
After some of you had left last meeting. I reported Mr. Bok's statement of policy last year, that he did not expect us to countenance open cohabitation by Tutors in their university quarters--cohabitation being defined in the presently relevant vernacular [i.e., as the permanent or extended "living together" of unmarried persons.].
My own views, both on unmarried living and on the desirability of leaving such matters to individual judgment, are more liberal and would lead to a vastly different official policy. They also, undoubtedly, would require changed physical arrangements and a different social structure in the houses. I understand that some such changes--involving, for example, student-managed communal living--were discussed before Mather and Currier were built. If those proposals were again to come under consideration. I would be among those arguing strongly for them. I think students, to say nothing of tutors, should be much freer to run their own lives and establishments than they can be in the houses as presently constituted.
For the present, however, my understanding is that the rules about permanent living arrangements between unmarried persons, about permanent nonpaying guests, etc., are very much facts of our lives. We thought tutors should be informed of those facts before, rather than after, accepting appointment. The offers were made and accepted not "last week," as The Crimson has reported, but a month ago. William R. Hutchison Master, Winthrop House