President Bok Meets Mass Hall Neighbors
Although the residents of Mass Hall have been living in the same building as President Bok for the past three months, they finally met their esteemed neighbor last night.
Two of the Yard dorm's residents invited Bok to tea in September and yesterday afternoon he took them up on their invitation.
Munching on corn chips and cheese and crackers and sipping soft drinks, Bok and about 30 Mass Hall residents crammed into the common room of A-41 to discuss college and administrative life.
Bok said that this social was his 16th annual visit to the upper floors of the home of the University's chief administrator.
"I've come every fall since I've been at my present job," said Bok. "It's a tradition."
"It's helpful for me to hear how freshmen feel about Harvard," he added.
Trevor W. Carlton '91, one of two students whoasked Bok to tea, said he extended the invitationto the President because "otherwise he was a justperson far away. We just thought he was in thenewspapers."
For about an hour, Bok and the freshmencompared notes on a variety of issues, rangingfrom tenure to food lines at the Union. Bokqueried students about the Expository writingprogram, freshman seminars and participation inextra-curricular activities at Harvard.
"He was very concerned on what we felt waswrong with the University," Carlton said.
"I thought it was interesting," said AndrewTulumello '91, who also asked Bok to tea. "Itwasn't appropriate to ask him serious questionsthough, because we had too many people."
Residents said that they, in turn, had a chanceto get Bok's opinions on some other pressingissues. "I asked him what it was like to be thePresident of the University," said Joseph K. HurdIII '91.
"I always see him walking around and I nevergot the chance to meet him," Douglas Ewing '91said. "Now, when I see him, he'll know who I am."
As Bok said his goodbyes to his neighbors, hepaused and joked, "Remember to tip-toe.