Dunster House is an architectural and gastric unit. Built far down Memorial Drive, it was placed by an ingenious plan in a triangular plot bounded on one side by the beautiful blue Charles, and on the two back sides by Cambridge tenements. Dunster is not like Lowell, in the center of things. In fact, connections with the Administration have enabled the House to secure two P.W.A. excavations that have increased its geographical isolation. Dunster has steadily become more a center in itself, and of all the Houses, has the greatest reputation for self-sufficient smugness.
Dunster's inter and intra-House attitude is consistent. It cares less about, and participates with less enthusiasm in, inter-House activities than any of the other six units. Internally, it has no social solidarity. Of all the House members, Dunster men have given up their rights of group privacy to the least extent. In many ways Dunster is the last stronghold of the conservatism and indifference that typified the old Harvard.
Yet Dunster has not resisted the new order. The same spirit of Iaissez-faire that has given its internal and external attitude of splendid isolation has allowed spontaneous formation of discussion groups. House dinners, dances, and entertainments have sprung from the interest of the undergraduates. There have been no attempts to hold patrol meetings of the tutees of the various departments, but the interest of special groups has not been coldly received. A lack of paternalism combined with friendly cooperation has characterized the attitude of the Staff of the House, and has been in no small measure responsible for its success.
The extent to which those members of the Faculty associated with the House have taken a keen interest in its welfare has been a further feature of its development. Casting aside the shyness that has forced the tutors in some Houses to band together at meals at a tutors' table, those at Dunster eat invariably with undergraduate friends. The squash courts (of which Dunster has eight of its own) have provided, as well as the dinner table, a battle ground where friendships between Faculty and students have spring from rivalry.
For the benefit of the undecided Freshmen a few practical considerations might be added to the above characterization. Dunster House has its own kitchen, which provides the men with admittedly the best quality and widest choice of food of any of the dining halls--and this is high praise. For those first-year men who intend to come to the House but have interests other than in the social atmosphere and their appetites, it might be added that Dunster has an unexcelled library in English History and Economics and an adequate supply of books in other fields. In History an excellent tutorial staff is headed by Professor Haring, the Master, with Mr. Buck and Professor Brinton; in Economics Professor Harris, the Senior Tutor, with Professor Mason, Professor Schumpeter and Mr. Sweezy; and in English by the affable Dr. Noyes, Dr. Souers, and Mr. White. Professor Friedrich, who keeps discreetly silent about Herr Hitler, will talk interestingly and instructively about any other aspect of Government, and Mr. Cline, our anthropologist, is particularly helpful when countries like Abyssinia break into the news.
In closing, one may say that Dunster, despite its various groups, has by its casual unity and congenial spirit done much to broaden its members and fulfill the aims of the House Plan.