The Overseers' Committee to Visit the College discussed parietal hours yesterday with the Administration, Radcliffe officials, the Committee on the Houses, and 16 Harvard undergraduates.
It seems unlikely the Committee's report will recommend any substantial revision of the present rules. The report, which will be prepared today, will be presented to the next meeting of the Board of Overseers.
In its discussions with the undergraduates, the Committee expressed concern primarily with students' morality. Several members questioned whether parietal hours encouraged undergraduates to engage in sexual intercourse.
Morality is Private?
The Committee also probed the undergraduates' insistence that morality was a private decision in which the University should not attempt to become involved. One Committee member asked whether seventeen-year-olds were old enough to make a moral decision wisely. Another pointed out the University had to be concerned with the actions which occur on College property.
Other members of the Visiting Committee questioned the wisdom of permitting undergraduates to entertain women in their bedrooms, insisting that this freedom was not available to most students in their homes.
Most of the 16 undergraduates present disputed the Committee's concern with their morality, but urged that the College provide undergraduates with the information necessary to make a wise moral decision. Fourteen of the students felt the University Health Services ought to make available both medical and psychological advice about the consequences of sexual relations.
One undergraduate, who said he was from a House in which strict parietal enforcement was almost impossible, praised Harvard's present insistence that undergraduates make decisions on their own. He pointed out that few undergraduates of his House chose to violate parietals although it was possible to do so.
The undergraduates sharply denied that Harvard's parietal hours encouraged sexual promiscuity. Many charged that their friends at other colleges with fewer parietal privileges still engaged in more sexual activity than most Harvard students.