The committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) decided last week that all students except freshmen will be allowed to transfer between Houses with the approval of the Masters of each House involved.
The policy, approved October 4, replaces a previous requirement that students remain in the same House for three years. Although a growing number of exceptions to the former rule have been made in past years, the CHUL decision is the first that has given students the official right to change House affiliations.
Although leaving the Masters free to decide whether to approve transfers, the CHUL emphasized that it is the Master's responsibility to maintain male-female ration within their Houses as they see fit.
Agreement of the Hosing Office is still formally required for transfer, but Dean Epps said yesterday that the office will respect the Master's decisions on each case.
"Our job is to take care of the administrative details," Genevieve Austin. assistant dean of Students, said Tuesday. "It is up to the Masters to control their own communities."
Response of Masters to the new policy has been favorable so far. "I haven't detected any opposition among Masters," Arthur Smithies. Master of Kirkland House, said Tuesday. He added that he would be "fully agreeable" to student transfers on a one-for-one basis.
Some Masters said that their decisions will be influenced by the effect that transfers will have on male-female ratios in their Houses.
Joan Keenan. Co-Master of north House, said that the number of men there had already exceeded the one-to-one ration hoped for at Radcliffe, she would not approve transfers which would bring more men into the House,
Ursula W. Goodenough, Co-Master of Currier House, said, "We would be concerned if huge numbers of women wanted to leave. But rather than decide the matter on a ratio basis. We would have to weigh each individual case."
Students will be allowed to move into any house if they trade with another student in that House, or into a House that has available space.