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Warmth Evicted After Girls Sleep In


Warmth has been cooled off at Harvard.

Officials of St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church asked Warmth to leave its headquarters in a Church building after receiving complaints about girls sleeping there overnight, Jed L. Somit '71, one of Warmth's directors, said yesterday.

The room is in the basement of the Church's Clubhouse at 8 DeWolfe St. Somit speculated that some parishioners were upset about the use of Church property by a non-Christian organization. Warmth is now seeking a new room in order to continue its activities.

Church officials were not available for comment.

A Warmth plan to find sleeping places in College rooms for visitors has worked well for men guests, Somit said, but the response from Radcliffe has been so small that the organization has been forced to permit women to sleep at Warmth headquarters.

Dean Watson said that he was "not disturbed" by the report since the room was not on University property and that he was "certain the situation has been handled with perfect propriety."

He said there are a limited number of rooms for organizations in University buildings and there is a waiting list at this time. "I can't move out another group to make room for Warmth," Watson said.

A group of undergraduates organized Harvard Warmth last Fall, patterning it after a chapter at Columbia University. Somit said Warmth was founded to provide "a place for people to come down and speak in a normal atmosphere." Free coffee was provided, and cards and games were available.

Grants from the Freshman Council and the Graduate Student Association helped to pay operating expenses, Somit said, and several local firms donated supplies including paint, rugs, and a stereo system.

Volunteers decorated the one-time Boy Scout room with flashing lights and sheets of paper inviting creative doodling. An American flag hangs in the door way. One sign asks visitors to remove their shoes to protect the floor while another warns "No alcohol, no illegal substances, no sexual intercourse."

Warmth folk-ins have attracted as many as 120 people, Somit said, but a dozen people has been a good crowd for other nights. Activities planned for the future include non-verbal communication experiences, kite fly-ins on the Charles, body paint-ins, and reverse trick-or-treat, with volunteers going from house to house distributing candy.

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