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Two Dunster House students have received a personal letter from President Pusey expressing sympathy with student demands that their House dining hall remain open next Spring.
"If the dining room has to be completely closed down," Pusey said in an April 16 letter sent to Thomas J. Shields '69, House committee chairman, and Peter W. Schandorff '68, "...we want to schedule the work in such a way as to reduce the span of incovenience to the minimum period."
"This is the first time Pusey's expressed concern and knowledge about this situation directly," Schandorff said yesterday, calling the letter "a very optimistic sign."
The dining hall must be closed to allow for renovation of its kitchen, which will serve both Dunster House and Mather House when it opens in September, 1969.
Pusey's letter is in response to one sent him on April 12 by the two students, stating the case for leaving the dining room open, and warning of the proposed closing's effect on "education, personal friendships, and the camaderie and splendid solidarity of Dunster."
Examine the Alternatives
"We don't mind closing the dining room for the shortest possible time if that is the only way to get the damned kitchen built," Shields said, "but we want to examine the alternatives. Until now, no one from the administration would talk to us."
Arthur D. Trottenberg '48, assistant dean of resources and planning, will visit Dunster House Wednesday to discuss the situation.
But Shields said that he feels that there has already been a "change of climate, creating a possibility of students changing a decision." Referring to Pusey's letter, Shields said, "At least he responded, and with some sort of warmth to the situation."
"We're expecting some new proposals Wednesday," Schandorff said. "If Trottenberg says nothing, the letters [explaining the students' position, and asking support] go out to alumni."
A petition, demanding that construction plans for Mather House be changed in order that the dining hall may remain open, has been circulated in other house dining halls. In two nights the petition gathered 814 signatures, Mark A. Zern '68, the petition's author, said.
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