The new year will bring many changes in the College. Loker Commons will open with great fanfare, first-years will dine in Annenberg Hall, the houses will gain universal key-card access and the new assistant dean for public service will take office.
"I'm very excited about the freshman dining and particularly about Loker being a focus of undergraduate life in a way we've never had," Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 said in an interview yesterday.
Lewis said he is optimistic that the commons will become a spot where students can meet and socialize.
"I think it will be a draw. It's going to be used by everyone," Lewis said. "It's not expected you have to be eating to be [at Loker]; it's a place students own."
The official opening of the Loker Commons is planned for January 4. During the reading period, the commons will be open for extended hours from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Shuttles will then run from the Science Center until 3 a.m.
After exams, Loker will return to its term-time hours, from 11 a.m.
Condenzio encouraged students who have not yet seen the commons to visit the grand opening.
"It will be a successful day if everyone finds time to come down and take a look at the space and see what Harvard has worked so hard to create," he said.
Food samples will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The student groups performing between noon and 10 p.m. will include the Harvard Band, the Gilbert and Sullivan Players and the On Thin Ice improvisation group.
A newsstand featuring periodicals, candy, beverages and student-produced publications will also be in place for the grand opening, Engel said.
No other physical changes will be made to the commons in anticipation of the grand opening, Engel said, although officials have been evaluating student input.
"The feedback has been almost entirely positive, but there will still be a lot of growing pains," he said.
"The whole first year is going to be an adjustment period," he added.
Condenzio said that in response to customer suggestions, recipes for salsas and calzones have already been altered and more staff have been assigned to the Mexican food stand.
Beginning on January 4, Loker Commons will have extended hours for reading period; it will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. The coffee shop and pizza stand will continue serving until 2:30 a.m