Task Force Favors 'No-Choice' Housing
A "no-choice" pre-freshman House assignment and increased credit for performing arts are among the major recommendations in the college life task force's report released yesterday.
The 160-page report, the third of seven studies to be released in Dean Rosovsky's review of undergraduate education, contains more than 30 suggestions for changes within the College.
[For a summary of the major recommendations see page three.]
Most of the changes are, in the words of task force chairman Stephen Williams, director of the Peabody Museum, "hortatory, not legislatory," including recommendations to create more student-faculty contact and study different alternatives to the current House system.
But in what will most likely be its most controversial suggestion the task force recommends that a no-choice system be established that "would not duly isolate minorities" and "would guard against unbalanced male-female ratios."
The report recommends that there be "intense discussion" to determine the importance of such factors as students' secondary school education and geographical origin in House selection. A system allowing limited master's choice--where masters could select some students for their Houses--would be established.
"We are not going to let the computer overload one area with minorities and one area with preppies," Williams said about the plan, which would closely resemble Yale's model for choosing residencies.
"Little good comes out of the six-week period of trauma over House selection that we have now," he said.
House masters contacted yesterday greeted the proposal with mixed reactions.
Charles Dunn, master of Quincy House, said he is afraid the addition of freshman affiliates would make it too difficult for House staffs to get to know everyone. Several House masters concurred with his reservations.
Rulan Pian '44, master of South House, said she believes the plan may provide a better balance of students at each House.
William H. Bossert '59, master of Lowell House, said he would be against the plan if it created totally uniform Houses. He said Eleanor C. Marshall, assistant to the dear of the Colleges for housing, told complaining students last spring that the previous year all dissatisfied students had been able to transfer, "leading us to believe that the trend would continue."
Marshall said yesterday the housing office is working with CHUL to transfer as many dissatisfied sophomores as space permits. She pointed out that the figure cited in the memo was compiled in December and could easily change by mid-January, the time at which final transfer arrangements will be made.
She added it is impossible to predict how many vacancies will be available by then, but said she hopes for over thirty.
Transfer applications from approximately 50 Quad sophomores were received as of yesterday, Marshall said. The application deadline is January 7.
Jack R. Boom '79, who was assigned to South House, which was his eleventh choice, said yesterday that he and fellow sophomores were dissatisfied with actions taken by the housing office. He said the practice of placing transfer students in River Houses before sophomores is an example of what he believes to be unfair.
Bloom said if he was not granted a transfer he would "strongly consider moving off campus as a moral protest."
Many sophomores also complained about the CHUL decision to freeze oneway transfers as of mid-February, but Marshall said yesterday this is done to arrange next year's housing for the Class of 1980.
Bloom said yesterday that a long freeze is "ridiculous" because it would take only "one afternoon" to do the counting necessary to deal with next year's housing for the Class of 1980.
Most students contacted yesterday cited the distance from friends and facilities as the major reason they prefer not to live up at the Quad.
Not all students find this disadvantage displeasing. Bernard Harris '79 said yesterday he was happy with the people and rooming setup at the Quad, where he yesterday he was happy with the people and rooming setup at the Quad, where he lives, adding he had no desire to move