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Resident Tutors and Proctors May Get Minimum Wage Limit

By Jonathan D. Rabinovitz

The Labor Department's plan to have private colleges pay the minimum wage to proctors and resident tutors would be "very difficult" for Harvard, C. Burris Young, associate dean of freshmen, said yesterday.

This policy would require that each private college should calculate with each residential advisor how many hours a week the job requires, a spokesman in the Labor Department said.

A proctor's work has no time limits, Young said, adding that proctors must practice "enthusiastic availability."

The Labor Department policy would make proctoring "a much more formal task," James A. Klein, a senior advisor, said.

"Facilities can be counted as fair wages," the Labor department spokesman said. Harvard generally provides free room and board for its proctors and resident tutors. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences financial aid office estimates the cost of living off-campus in Cambridge for a year would be $6,300.

Ellen Porter, a senior adviser, said last March minimum wage is not an issue. "We could prove that proctors have more than adequate compensation--it's a fat job," she said.

Keith E. Butler '75, who will be a resident tutor at Leverett House next year, said he is pleased with the expenses he will be able to eliminate. Being a resident tutor has other advantages, he added, in that he will feel less detached from what is going on in the Harvard community.

The new Labor Department proposal is presently being contested in court in Colorado.

The department filed suit last summer against Regis College. Advisers there are available to all other students on their floor for counseling. In return they receive $500 tuition credit, use of a telephone, and a double room at single rates.

The Labor Department lost the first round in court and is appealing. Senator Gary W. Hart (D-Colo.) has presented a bill to the Senate allowing resident assistants to be exempt from minimum wage laws.

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