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Equal Sex Ratio Petition Draws 1271 Signatures

By Barry R. Sloane

At least 1271 undergraduates yesterday signed a petition protesting the present unequal sex ratios in Harvard admissions policies.

An incomplete tally of the petition, which was circulated during registration, shows that 339 freshmen and 932 upperclassmen signed with six Houses still uncounted.

The petition originated with a recently formed group of women living at Radcliffe who advocate an admissions quota system which would assure, in the words of the petition, "equal admissions with respect to sex."

The petition stated that equal sex ratios would create a "healthy living and educational environment," and that the "strong negative reaction" by Quad residents to the recent CHUL decision repealing guaranteed 1:1 sex ratios at Radcliffe Houses is evidence that the system is "desirable and beneficial."

It also cited the fundamental cause of the "annual battle" between Houses over the distribution of women to be rooted in their unequal number.

Susan G. Cole '74, a former CHUL representative from North House and one of the organizers of the signature drive, said that the petition will be presented at the next CHUL meeting. They will ask the committee to pass a resolution endorsing equal sex ratios in the college, she said.

Deborah Leiderman '76, another of the organizers of the group said that the collection of signatures "went very well." The group, which was formed last week, will also forward the petition to Presidents Bok and Horner's offices, with the hope that "at least a dialogue will be started" over the issue, Leiderman said.

Reduce Male Enrollment

Leiderman said that a 1:1 admissions policy would require that the number of males admitted be reduced from the present 2:5:1 ratio, unless the college were to be significantly expanded.

Along with the two other organizers of the Radcliffe group, Leiderman said she felt that a healthier situation exists if men and women are in approximately equal numbers. When men greatly outnumber women, "it results in more problematic social relations," she said.

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