University Puts a Curfew On Forbes Plaza at Night

On Wednesday night, Harvard reinstated a nighttime curfew on the Forbes Plaza in front of Holyoke Center--an area which has been a prime hang-out for hippies, motorcyclists, teeny-boppers and other assorted Harvard Square types this summer.

The University made the plaza off-limits to all after 8 p.m. after receiving scores of complaints about the conduct of those occupying the plaza after nightfall, Robert Tonis, chief of the University Police, said yesterday. The plaza is Harvard-owned, and the University policemen have been enforcing the curfew without incident.

A similar curfew was in effect for most of last summer; it was lifted late in the summer when the plaza problem seemed to diminish and after several older Cambridge residents asked to use the plaza at night, Administrative Vice-President L. Gard Wiggins said earlier this summer. Tonis said yesterday that the current curfew would probably not be necessary in the Fall.

Tonis said that "any number of irate citizens and members of the Harvard community" had complained about what was going on in the plaza at night, including:

* Destruction of shrubbery and urination in the area.


* Loud playing of bongo drums and other musical instruments at night.

* Minor thievery from sandwich shops and stores around the plaza.

* Attempts by hippies and others to use the plaza--or the Holyoke Center arcade--as an all night camp-ground.

At one point, Tonis--said, "two men were observed in an obscene act" on the plaza; Cambridge police arrested the men.

"There have been allegations made of sales of marijuna, [on the plaza] but I have no evidence of it," he added.

"It's an unfortunate thing," Tonis went on to say, "I fully realize that these people have to go somewhere, but I feel they should behave themselves--not make a sewer of the place."