In an uncontroversial and unanimous vote last night, the Undergraduate Council agreed to send Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence a letter calling for action on a two-year old recommendation to keep Widener Library open Sundays.
"Unless we remind the administration, people seem all too content to let the issue fade," said council chairman Richard S. Eisert '88. "It's important to call for action."
Two years ago, the Committee on the Library advocated keeping Widener open Sundays, but budgetary red tape prevented the extended hours, according to the council's draft of the letter.
The letter said that administrative reports did not specify whether the necessary funds had been budgeted and later rescinded, or whether the funds had never been allocated.
The council's letter advocates the extended hours "because all University students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, would benefit from opening Widener on Sunday afternoons." In addition, the missive calls for administrative "clarification and redress" on the dormant issue.
"We strongly feel that Sunday access to Widener would have tremendous advantages," the letter reads, citing "thesis-writing seniors" as the most "dramatically benefited groups of undergraduates.
Eisert said that part of the delay in getting Sunday Widener hours was the administration's failure to understand the extent to which undergraduates use the library. Undergraduates use Widener "a good deal," Eisert said.
The letter also said that Harvard fell "below the standards of other universities of comparable caliber" by prohibiting "access to its primary research library on Sunday afternoons."
In an effort to hasten progress, the council agreed to circumvent standard procedure and send the letter without waiting for approval of the meeting's minutes next week.
In unrelated business, the council announced sending a letter to Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 about council plans for a "big party," Eisert said.
If the administration approves the plans, the council will throw a party complete with beer and "one or two" bands before spring break if possible, Eisert said.
"We want to throw it soon," said Eisert, adding that the event would likely be held in Memorial Hall or the Freshman Union.
Based on the success of the 350th celebration, "the Undergraduate Council should be entitled to throw one of these bashes," Eisert said.
In other business, the council passed an amendment which would no longer require the Social Committee to reserve one-third of the term-bill income for social grants to House Committees.
The Social Committee has $5000, of which $1700 is divided among the Houses and the Freshman Council to help fund campus-wide social activities on the request of the house committees.
With the amendment, the "Social Committee [has] more discretion as to where the money goes," said committee chair Michael L. Goldenberg '88.
"The Social Committee will not be encumbered," Eisert said. This year only Dunster House has applied to the committee for a grant of $400 which funded a party last November.