As part of a major effort to encourage faculty student contact, the College has initiated a new program of free meals for faculty visiting House dining halls.
Although House afflicted faculty may eat in the dining halls, other s have had to pay the full meal price for guests--about $5 for dinner--if they are with students.
The issue of limited student professor interaction was widely discussed by the Undergraduate Council last year, and the meal plan is designed to narrow the perceived lack of contact, according to Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said yesterday that he feels Harvard's reputation of having inaccessible professors is "the one persistent criticism that other Ivy League schools make of us."
Although many of the Houses have accommodated student-faculty meals, "the [various] Houses have had different rules, and maybe students haven't been absolutely certain that hey could bring faculty to a meal," Fox said.
"It's been available but nobody keep about it," said Undergraduate Council member Kelly L. Klegar '85, last year's chairman of the residential committee, which initiated the proposal.
Council member said that many students, asking for their help in fastening increased relations with faculty members. And Klegar added that some faculty members have had difficulty getting to know students, even if they are affiliated with Houses.
"Even though quite a few of them are associated, very few of them go [to the dining halls]. It can be an intimidating thing s well, for them, just to walk in, Klegar said.
House masters have been extremely receptive to the idea, the Winthrop House representative said, adding that many have been reluctant to create formal student faculty meal programs because the individual Houses lacked the funds.
The new College wide program is funded by the University, Fox said. He said he was uncertain of the total budget, but added that there are as yet no restrictions on tickets.
"The total number is finite, and we don't know how popular it will be," Fox said. "I hope we don't have to ration them, though."
Three days after a letter announcing the plan appeared in upperclass registration packets, Fox said there has been substantial response, although he didn't know how many students have requested meal invitations.
The tickets, available in University Hall, entitle faculty to breakfast, lunch, or dinner in any House, Guests must show their officer's cards.