The class of '76 may not know it, but the Harvard Yard they will be living in has undergone some substantial changes this year.
Most noticeable, of course, is the introduction of women. Some 200 freshman women--out of a total Yard population of 1200--will be living in five Yard dorms.
But freshmen expecting to live in a coed entry or floor will be disappointed. Many women who had lived in Harvard Houses where they were greatly outnumbered by men objected to having the freshmen women scattered in small numbers throughout all the entries. They argued that a "critical mass" of women was needed to avoid their feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, women will be isolated in their own entries or floors.
The Yard will also be greener this year, thanks to the work of an amorphous group of students, faculty and administrators known as the 'Green Committee'. Under the informal stewardship of Dr. Chase N. Peterson '52, vice president for alumni Affairs, the Committee has been at work for almost a year on plans to beautify the Yard.
One result of their efforts has been the planting of greener, longer-lasting grass. Use of the new grass will eliminate the need for the reseeding, currently an annual spring event that drives frisbee players to tears.
The idea for the Committee grew out of a discussion between Peterson and President Bok last summer concerning the deteriorating appearance of the Yard. Peterson introduced the topic to the class of '75 in his orientation speech last Fall and about 40 freshmen signed up to work.
'Grass Roots Support'
The group, which Peterson says is "low on bureaucracy and high on enthusiasm," operates on a shoestring budget from Buildings and Grounds and the "grass roots" support of freshmen.
Another group, Freshman Task Force, was organized by six upperclass men and women this spring to offer advice and assistance to freshmen. The group plans to be present at registration to help explain red tape, attend entry parties to answer questions, and hold weekly discussion tables in the Freshman Union.
In a letter mailed to incoming freshmen this summer, the group's 29 members outlined plans to meet with freshmen individually and collectively throughout the year and suggested that freshmen contact members in their rooms in the Houses to discuss problems and ask for advice.
And finally, after years of discussion, upperclass advisors have been housed in the Yard. The upperclassmen will not replace traditional graduate student freshmen proctors, but will complement them, according to the freshman dean's office.