Task Force Favors 'No-Choice' Housing

A "no-choice" pre-freshman House assignment and increased credit for performing arts are among the major recommendations in the college life task force's report released yesterday.

The 160-page report, the third of seven studies to be released in Dean Rosovsky's review of undergraduate education, contains more than 30 suggestions for changes within the College.

[For a summary of the major recommendations see page three.]


Most of the changes are, in the words of task force chairman Stephen Williams, director of the Peabody Museum, "hortatory, not legislatory," including recommendations to create more student-faculty contact and study different alternatives to the current House system.

But in what will most likely be its most controversial suggestion the task force recommends that a no-choice system be established that "would not duly isolate minorities" and "would guard against unbalanced male-female ratios."


The report recommends that there be "intense discussion" to determine the importance of such factors as students' secondary school education and geographical origin in House selection. A system allowing limited master's choice--where masters could select some students for their Houses--would be established.

"We are not going to let the computer overload one area with minorities and one area with preppies," Williams said about the plan, which would closely resemble Yale's model for choosing residencies.

"Little good comes out of the six-week period of trauma over House selection that we have now," he said.

Mixed Mood

House masters contacted yesterday greeted the proposal with mixed reactions.

Charles Dunn, master of Quincy House, said he is afraid the addition of freshman affiliates would make it too difficult for House staffs to get to know everyone. Several House masters concurred with his reservations.

Rulan Pian '44, master of South House, said she believes the plan may provide a better balance of students at each House.

William H. Bossert '59, master of Lowell House, said he would be against the plan if it created totally uniform Houses. He said Eleanor C. Marshall, assistant to the dear of the Colleges for housing, told complaining students last spring that the previous year all dissatisfied students had been able to transfer, "leading us to believe that the trend would continue."

Marshall said yesterday the housing office is working with CHUL to transfer as many dissatisfied sophomores as space permits. She pointed out that the figure cited in the memo was compiled in December and could easily change by mid-January, the time at which final transfer arrangements will be made.

She added it is impossible to predict how many vacancies will be available by then, but said she hopes for over thirty.