HDNS to Dissolve Next Term; Paper Delivery Plans Unclear

Harvard Delivery News Service (HDNS) will go out of business next month even if no group decides to take over its operations, University officials said yesterday after reviewing a report on the service's financial records.

However, Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) has shown a "firm interest" in delivering The New York Times and The Boston Globe to campus subscribers, Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said earlier this week.

HDNS will reimburse full-year subscribers for one semester, with the College assuming whatever costs the service cannot pay, Martha Coburn, associate dean of the College, said last night.

Uncomfortable

The decision was made because Dean Fox, Epps and Coburn felt that the University was too closely involved with an organization which is financially unstable, Coburn said.

Last year HDNS owed $14,000 to Cambridge Trust Company and Epps diverted $2000 in College discretionary funds to help pay off the debt. Martin Olive '78-4, manager of HDNS until last February, allegedly embezzled about half the missing funds. Olive recently paid back $5000 of his debt to HDNS, which Epps said would be applied to the service's present debt.

Officials have not decided what should be done about HDNS's present debt which one source estimates to be in the $2000 to $5000 range.

Running on Empty

Coburn said one option officials discussed yesterday would require HSA to pay a fee to the College to take over the service. This fee would then be used to help pay off existing HDNS debts.

Theodore C. Tracy, greater Boston circulation manager for The New York Times said yesterday that HSA, which delivers the Times during the summer, has done "a pretty good job" and would probably continue to do so were it to take over the service.

Tracy added he hopes the service will change hands smoothly because if the "students don't get their paper, the whole concept of student discounts is irrelevant."

College officials will meet today to set final details of the shutdown. Officials next week will announce reimbursement procedures for subscribers.