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Of the seven houses, Dunster is distinguished by being the smallest, accommodating only 232 students to Eliot's 300, and also, in a sense, the most intimate. It is Dunster's boast that it is the only House where the tutors do not eat at a separate table, but mix with the undergraduates both in the dining hall and in all their activities. Life in the House is characterized by this informality.
An infusion of athletic talent would be welcome at Dunster for the members tend to emphasize their daily squash match in the basement courts to the exclusion of inter-House competitive sports.
No Longer "Clubby House"
House activities follow different lines, however, and belie the "indifference" label of a bygone day when Dunster was the "clubby House". The Dunster House forum has become a stimulating and well-known institution, the spring costume party something of a discreet scandal, and the Christmas play the vehicle for sketch writers, composers, librettists, and actors in the House.
If it has the smallest membership, Dunster also has the largest library, numbering some 12,000 volumes, and emphasizing the social sciences. The economics and American history sections are especially strong.
The tutorial staff follows the pattern of the library and has a considerable spread as well. It covers all the social sciences, including Psychology, and the fields of History and Literature, English, Music (represented by Professor Ballantine, head of the Department), Fine Arts, Anthropology, Biochemical Sciences, and Mathematics.
With Acting Master and Senior Tutor Seymour Harris heading a staff that includes Professors Leontieff, Mason, and Schumpeter, and Instructors P.M. Sweezy and J.R. Nelson, Economics is the House's strongest field. The outstanding History tutor is Professor Crane Brinton, head of the Department and resident in the House, while Assistant Professor Pendleton Herring, secretary of the Littauer School of Public Administration, is among the Government tutors.
Architecture Like Other Houses
The architecture of Dunster is similar to that of the other Houses, except that it contains no multiple suites, only singles and doubles. Special attention was paid to the designing of the dining hall, which is particularly attractive.
Midway between the Yard and M.I.T., Dunster has the unique advantage of being so far away from the center of College activities that the House is virtually self-sufficient. Although it is only 3.5 walking minutes further from Memorial Hall than Eliot, Dunster is most removed of all the Houses from athletic and social activities from the publications.
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