Council Report Attempts Remedies For Infant Student Porter System

In the introduction of the Student Porter Report, presented to the Council last Monday night, George W. Miller III '52, chairman of the Council's Porter Committee, included the following lines . . ."The report is not a comprehensive study of the porter system, but a report arising from a particular protest over the quality of porters' work. It was written more to obtain immediate remedies than long term solutions."

Already one of Miller's "Immediate remedies" (no. S) has been put into operation by Arthur D. Trottenburg '48, Operating Manager of College Houses and Dormitories, as this page goes to press, and it is likely that the innovation of other Council proposals will follow.

The report is divided into three sections, parts of which appear below. Miller states that "The Student Porter system was instituted in Dunster House, in Thayer Hall, and in Wm. James and Richards Halls, in the new graduate center, at the beginning of the academic year September 1951. The basic purpose of the plan is to provide as many additional jobs for students as possible."


Miller composed a poll which he presented at Dunster and at Thayer Hall. In response to the Dunster poll, 57% advocated the reinstatement of maid service, with only 27% voting to keep the porter system. In Thayer, opinion was split evenly, although only 52% of the residents filled out the blanks.

Speaking of the Dunster poll results, Miller said that, "It (is) clear that the students approved of the porter system in principle . . . that is, the idea of having the system as a means of student employment. It is also evident, however, that over half the residents desired the return of maid service."


Miller continued by saying that, "No matter how efficient the porters may be, there are definite disadvantages to retaining them in any of the seven Houses. In evaluating the Thayer situation it is evident that many of the difficulties which appeared in Dunster House are remedied in Thayer, (i.e. no private lavatories to clean and proximity of the work.) Although Wm. James and Richards Halls were not polled, the general feeling appears to be very high for the porters."

Miller's committee listed the following ten recommendations:

1.) The porter system should be continued.

2.) The porter system should not be continued in the Houses, and should be removed from Dunster, if not immediately, no later than the beginning of the academic year 1952-53.

3.) The system should be located mainly in the Yard, and in those halls in the Yard where janitors clean the lavatories.

4.) The system should be allowed to continue and perhaps be expanded in the graduate center.

5.) The duties of the porters should be more carefully explained, especially bed-making.

6.) Regularity of work should be emphasized.

7.) The administrators should work with the thought of alleviating any attitudes of social stigma which may be harbored by the students or the porters.

8.) The work load should be equitably distributed.

9.) Every effort should be made to inspire high morale.

10.) Any plan for the expansion of the system should be carefully considered and initiated with extreme caution.