Cambridge to Install Lights on Common
In an effort to make the Harvard Square area safer for pedestrians at night, the city will begin installing lights around the Cambridge Common within two weeks, City Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55 said last week.
City Manager Robert W. Healy said the City Council would spend approximately $268,000 on the lighting, which he said would be finished by winter.
But Duehay said he thought the project would take until late winter to be completed. "We may see another dark winter," Duehay said.
The project was prompted by a proposal last year by then-Undergraduate Security Committee Chair David A. Battat '91.
"Security on and off-campus is sorely in need of attention," said Battat at the time. Battat, who founded the ad-hoc security committee after a rape in the Science Center last December, said, "Quad residents are really exposed to a very dark, dangerous area whenever they walk home."
Most students who live in the Radcliffe Quad houses must either walk through or past the Common to get to Harvard Square or the Yard.
Duehay said that lighting proposals for the area had not been approved in the past because of funding limits for city improvements.
"Lighting in the Common has been a council issue for the past three years, but it did not come to bid until about a year-and-a-half ago."
This year's proposals before the Council vyed for a slice of the city's approximately $3 million budget, Healy said. He said the lighting plan competed with school and hospital renovation projects, as well as fire and police force funding.
"You'd like to drive a Porsche, but your checking account says you drive an Escort," said Healy. "We'd like to pave all of the streets and fix all of the buildings, but we don't have the money to do everything."
Healy said that engineers are now finishing planning for the project and surveying the site.
"Adequate lighting in a place like the Common is essential to making it a safe place," said Battat. "There is no excuse for an area so well traveled as the Common to be so dangerous."
Added Battat, "The lights in the Common now are insufficient. They are too few, and those that are there are too dim."
Dartmouth Fans Paint Yard Statue
As they have so many times in the past, Dartmouth football fans somehow managed to elude campus security Wednesday night, covering the John Harvard statue in the Yard with pale green paint.
This time, however, they tried a new twist on the age-old prank, painting a large green "D" on the steps of Widener Library.
The vandals apparently timed their attack perfectly, putting their plan into action one night before campus police began their around-the-clock guard of the statue.
Harvard Police Chief Paul E. Johnson said that there had been a security guard on duty by the statue until midnight Wednesday, and that the vandals must have struck sometime between midnight and dawn yesterday.
"It's a tough call to make," Johnson said. "You can't tell when they're going to do it."
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said Dartmouth fans had never--to his recollection--tried painting a giant "D" on the Widener steps, although they have splashed green paint on University Hall.
Asked whether campus security would position a guard at Widener Library this weekend, Epps only said that "security would be increased overall."
In addition, Epps said that he expected the only Harvard retalliation to be "on the playing field" because Harvard students are "gentlemen and gentlewomen."