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The Freshman Union may be open on a limited basis to upperclassmen as a result of an exceptionally spirited discussion centering on food issues at the first meeting of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) yesterday.
Citing recent student pressure--including meetings with representatives from South, Mather and Leverett Houses and other interested students--Henry C. Moses, dean of freshmen, said at the meeting, "I want to find some way of accommodating the upperclassmen who expressed an interest in eating at the Union for lunch."
Moses said he would reach a decision on the opening "in the next day or two."
In another development, CHUL voted 10 to 12 not to recognize the Student Lobby, the 18-member group that organized last week's "Eat-In" breakfast protest, as an official undergraduate organization.
Laura E. Besvinick '80, a member of the Student Lobby, said yesterday the group will probably hold a meeting in the next week to decide its future course of action.
Besvinick said the group would consider petitioning the Faculty Council for recognition and changing the group's name and charter so as to eliminate CHUL's objections.
Organizers formed the Student Lobby to solicit and present student opinion to the administration and to co-ordinate a unified student position among student members of all student-faculty committees.
W.C. Burris Young '55, associate dean of freshmen, said at the meeting that a system of encouraging freshmen to eat in the Houses on weekdays will go into effect in the next ten days.
Young said the system would not require freshmen to eat at the Houses rather than the Union, but would encourage them to eat at certain Houses on certain days, partly by notifying them of House events on those days.
Last year, when the Union was closed on weekends, freshmen had to eat at specific Houses, with House assignments rotating each weekend.
In response to CHUL members' comments, Dean Rosovsky said at the meeting a proposal to extend the system to weekends in order to close one of the two serving lines at the union on weekends was a "very constructive suggestion."
In his decision to serve meals at the Union on weekends this year, Dean Fox assumed Food Services would only require the operation of one serving line.
Frank J. Weissbecker, director of Food Services, told CHUL that operation of the second serving line would cost approximately $50,000 per year.
Because of the extra costs, Rosovsky said, "There may be a consequence for tuition, or we may close the line at the Union."
William T. Prewitt '78, the North House CHUL representative, said at the meeting, "One of the purposes of the breakfast plan was to increase services without a tuition rise. Now it seems there may have to be a tuition rise. That is very bad."
In another development, CHUL rejected 14 to 15 a motion to discuss and vote on a North House resolution calling for the use of lotteries for housing transfers.
Under the current transfer system, if Housing Office guidelines fail to distinguish between transfer applicants, masters may choose among applicants on whatever basis they desire.
Most of those who wanted to discuss the North House resolution were students, while most who voted against such a discussion were masters.
Several students criticized the closing of the Union to upperclassmen, claiming it inconvenienced upperclassmen who live in Houses far from the Yard and resulted in increased crowding at the closer Houses.
Megan Lesser '78, the Leverett House CHUL representative, said at the meeting more students were eating lunch at Leverett than last year, including a large number of Quad residents.
"Houses like Leverett are absorbing the people from the Quad and Mather House, who don't have time to go back for lunch," she said, adding "There are lines at Leverett that weren't there last year."
Joseph F. Savage Jr. '78, Quincy House CHUL representative, said the influx of interhouse patrons might spur some Houses to restrict interhouse at lunch.
"I don't want this to break down to guerilla warfare between the Houses," he said.
Savage said visits to the Union at lunchtime had convinced him that it could serve more students than it now does during off-peak hours.
Weissbecker presented figures showing that on two recent days, about 200 fewer students ate lunch at the Union this year than ate there on the same two dates last year.
"One might infer that these 200 are the upperclassmen." Rosovsky said
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