The presidents of four off-campus dormitories at Radcliffe sharply criticized yesterday a new plan to affiliate off-campus halls with the three House centers. Under the policy announced by President Bunting on Wednesday, a student will only receive priority in applying to off-campus halls associated with her House center. In addition, an off-campus student will be required to eat in the House center of her hall.
The off-campus leaders complained that the plan handicaps a girl in choosing a house and limits the number of friends she will make. "I'm glad I'm a senior this year," said Helen N. Smith '63, president of Henry House. "People move off-campus to get away from the house spirit, and now it's following us." She said that it will be unfortunate if the residents of Henry House are drawn in the future only from East House dormitories.
H. Mae Takahara '63, head of Edmands House, termed the policy "pretty bad" because the freshmen will be unaware of it when they choose their dormitories.
President Patricia C. Jones '64 of Warner House stressed the difficulties involved for students who will have to change their current House affiliation. At present, an off-campus student retains an affiliation with the brick dormitory from which she moved. Miss Jones said that the plan will handicap a girl who has friends in a dormitory that is not part of the House in which she must eat. She pointed out, however, that the change in policy will become a dead issue within a few years, when the living facilities of the off-campus houses are replaced by those of the projected Fourth House.
Judith Ashman '63, president of Everett House, called the policy a "very strange decision. It was obviously planned a long time ago and just sprung on us," she said. She expressed concern that the students will have to live with the same people for four years, but suggested that the strengthened House units might be able to assume legislative functions.
Other Radcliffe students also expressed opposition to the new policy, which will become effective in September. Former RGA treasurer Betty Change '65 suggested that the off-campus houses be affiliated with the House centers without limiting the number of halls for which a student may obtain room choice priority. Anne J. d'Harnoncourt, president of Holmes Hall, said that the plan would divide the college into rigid groups along House lines.
Replying to the criticism yesterday. Associate Dean Jacquelyn A. Mattfeld attempted to minimize the effects that the plan will have. "Radcliffe is a pretty small place, and things are done on an individual basis here," she said. "The rules are not so hard and fast that there can't be exceptions if people want them."
Although students will get first preference only in applying to off-campus houses affiliated with their House center. Mrs. Mattfeld emphasized that this will not necessarily prevent them from living in other off-campus houses.