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Oil Shortage Forces General Shutdown At Tufts University


Tufts University will shut down for 44 days this winter in order to conserve its dwindling fuel supply, officials of the university said yesterday.

The Tufts administration will submit a plan including the shutdown to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Monday. Approval of the proposal is certain, The Tufts Observer said in yesterday's edition.

Tufts will extend its Christmas vacation by two weeks, and in addition will close on February 8, to resume classes on March 12, Tufts administrators said.

John Mitchell, vice president of the college, said that the university must revise its calendar because its fuel supplier, White Fuel Oil Company, has cut Tufts's supply by 30 per cent from last year.

Mitchell said that he thought Tufts could cut last year's consumption by only 20 per cent with the extended vacations.

Mitchell explained that the calendar revision would not alter Tufts's 4-1-4 program. He said that the lost days would be made up by either extending class periods by ten minutes or scheduling a six day week.

Classes would be extended for an additional week in May, Mitchell added.

"The very worst thing that could happen is that we run out of fuel," Mitchell said. "If Tufts runs out, the second semester will begin on April 1," Mitchell added. "We intend to run a whole year program no matter when we start the second semester."

Reaction at Tufts appeared unfavorable to the shutdown. Students are upset at the prospects of a three-month vacation and a second term extending into June, one Tufts student said yesterday.

Mitchell said that Tufts will use every means possible to stretch its oil. "We are lowering temperatures throughout the University and stormproofing the windows," he said, "but we have little hope of extending our supply."

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