The masters of Harvard houses have scuttled the idea of a consolidated house facebook of all upperclass students because the masters could not agree on the project, masters said.
Winthrop House Master James A. Davis, professor of sociology, said that all of the masters generally thought the idea was great, but they could not reach conclusive support on the details of the project to combine the house facebooks, which are now done separately.
"The individual details bogged the plan down and prohibited some masters from agreeing," he said. The masters voted down the project in a meeting two weeks ago.
Undergraduate Council representative Malcolm A. Heinicke '93, who was pushing for the project with David F. Carlock '94, said he was surprised and upset to find out the idea had been cancelled.
He argued that a consolidated facebook under jurisdiction of the council would save money while offering students a more useful resource.
"The houses spend on average $4,000 for their facebooks, plus a lot of time and effort," Heinicke said. "By taking the work out of the houses' hands, they would work less and save between $200 and $500."
Heinicke said that neither he nor Carlock were aware that a vote was going to be held by the masters. He said most house masters had been supportive of the idea and that he and Carlock were disappointed that the idea was rejected.
"We were in the process of meeting with all house masters to explain the idea and garner everyone's support when we found out that the masters voted against the project," he said.
Adams House Master Robert J. Kiely, Loker professor of English and designated spokesperson for all house masters, did not return telephone messages last week and was out of town yesterday.
Carlock originated the plan to consolidate the facebooks last year when he transferred to Harvard. "The students I talked to were were very supportive and excited about the idea," said Carlock.
"Many people told me they couldn't keep in touch with their friends from freshmen year once they left the yard. A consolidated facebook would let everyone do this," he said.
Both Carlock and Heinicke expressed hope that the plan for consolidation would be reviewed again in the future. According to Carlock, Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 has said the administration wants to try the project again in the future. Jewett was out of town last week and could not be reached for comment.
Masters disagree on a plan to save money and provide more information.