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Nothing New Here


By James Cramer

After several months of delay the third of Dean Rosovsky's seven task forces-the task force on college life-released its report. It contained few surprises.

With the exception of the decision to recommend that the College adopt a no-choice, pre-assigned system for entering freshmen, there was little in the report that could be expected to produce controversy.

Already, however, the battle lines have been drawn on the no-choice issue. Several River House masters went on record opposing the pre-assigned process because it would add to the burgeoning number of students that the House staffs would have to know.

Meanwhile, in an informal Crimson survey, most freshmen contacted said they oppose a no-choice system.

Actually, the system that the task force had in mind is hardly a random one. There would be adjustments made within the computer filling the assignments for those who want to stay with friends. Freshmen would be allowed to transfer Houses at the end of the year. Minorities and other groups would be evenly distributed. And, in what would be a minor throwback to the days before the random choice system currently used, masters would be allowed to select a limited number of students for their Houses.

Other recommendations in the task force's report include more credit for art courses, a strengthened House course system and a re-organization of the House system to provide more central control and assistance for House masters.

For the most part these recommendations are simply suggestions that various interest groups around the College-Faculty, students and administrators-can act upon or dismiss as they please.

One proposal that would require legislation would be a move to turn Memorial Hall into a coffeehouse or beer hall where members of the Harvard and Cambridge community could meet.

There is some precedence for this move, as task force chairman Stephen Williams, director of the Peabody Museum, related last week. Williams said he liked the proposal because it reminds him of Cronin's, the old-time beer hall that took up much of the property where Holyoke Center stands now.

From all recollections Cronin's used to be a Munich-sized beer hall with rows and rows of tables and a long bar, a place that defies duplication in the Square today.

Of course, logistics usually rule out matters like these. And few buildings within the University are as convenient as Mem for taking exams and registering for courses.

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