Harvard will consider changing its calendar for this winter if plans to conserve energy by lowering building temperatures and closing buildings over Christmas vacation are not sufficient, Dean Rosovsky said yesterday.
"I hope we will be able to get through by closing buildings up tight over Christmas and following the plans of the energy committee, but if we can't we'll have to start bending our educational schedules," Rosovsky said.
Stephen S.J. Hall, vice president for administration, said yesterday he expects that all residential units will be shut down and the temperatures in most other buildings will be lowered to 40 degrees during the Christmas holidays.
"The buildings will not be closed, just mothballed. We will supply space heaters to anybody who plans to use his office over the holidays," Hall told the new energy committee yesterday.
The committee, made up of representatives from each school at Harvard and coordinated by Hall, met for the first time yesterday.
Hall said that nothing is definite yet, but students who remain in Cambridge for the holidays may be moved to one Cambridge for the holidays may be moved to one House so the remaining residential units can be closed.
The plan to move the remaining students would violate the rooming contract signed by students, but Hall justified it, saying "If none of us have any gas, what will be the use of a contract?"
Dean Whitlock said last night that an attempt to move all of the remaining students into one House could bring many problems with theft and liability, but that he had discussed with several people the possibility of asking faculty members to house the students for the vacation.
"When Mather House wasn't completed on time several years ago, I believe that faculty members accomodated over 100 students. I believe as many as 50 students could be accomodated in the Francis Ave. area alone for a week or ten day," he said.
Rosovsky said yesterday he and Richard Leahy, assistant dean of the Faculty, will name a small group of three to five members to study various alternatives for Harvard if it becomes necessary to change the calendar this winter.
"I'd hate to see reading period cut because it is an integral part of the students' education," Rosovsky said. "But we can only carry out our educational function within our allocated fuel supplies."
Rosovsky and Leahy said serious consideration will be given to an extended semester break after exams as one solution.
"If fuel allocation is on a monthly basis and the crisis becomes that serious, the extended break is a real possibility," Leahy said.
Leahy also said that classes which meet over reading period will probably be consolidated into fewer buildings and large lecture halls such as Lowell and Burr may be kept closed through reading period until the new term begins.
However, the deans said that an extended Christmas break or a cut in reading period would only come as a "very last resort."