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Lighting in 2 Main Lecture Halls Found Weaker Than Law Allows

HCUA Reveals: Lux Non Fiebat


Lighting in two of the College's main lecture halls is so weak that it violates a Massachusetts law, a fact sheet issued by the Harvard Council on Undergraduate Affairs disclosed this week.

The Department of Public Safety has set the minimum illumination in school-rooms at 20 footcandles. An HCUA representative, using a high precision light meter, found 3 footcandles of light in the audience area of Sanders Theatre and 13 footcandles in the Geological Lecture Room.

Standard recommended levels for lecture rooms are 70 footcandles in the audience area and 150 footcandles in the lecture and demonstration area; the recommendations are made by the Illuminating Engineering Society. The lecture area in Sanders is at 47 footcandles and in the Geological Lecture Room at 17 footcandles.

Sanders May Be Exempt

A spokesman from the Department of Public Safety said that the regulation in question, passed in 1955, might not apply to lighting systems installed before that date. This might exempt Sanders Theatre from the regulation, but not the Geological Lecture Room, which was renovated in 1962. The spokesman could not say what steps the Department might take to investigate the infraction.

Questioned about the lighting in the two halls, Arthur D. Trottenberg '48, assistant dean for Business Affairs, said he would "be surprised if it were inadequate."

Only two lecture halls have been tested to date, according to Michael E. Abram '66, vice-president of the HCUA. He said that the HCUA would take up the present findings with the administration before making further tests.

In a phone conversation prior to the publication of the fact sheet, Trottenberg told an HCUA member that the administration was "pretty well satisfied" with the lighting system in the Geological Lecture Room and that Sanders Theater was not used as a classroom. At present, Sanders is used for lectures in Government 1, Ilumanities 2, and Social Sciences 4.

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