Student Lounge Talks Stopped As Law School Awaits Dean

The Law School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) have halted negotiations over the status of Harkness Common until a new dean of the Law School is appointed, Melissa D. Gerrity, assistant dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for financial affairs, said yesterday.

GSAS want the law school to release it from its financial commitment to the maintenance and operation of the Common, a cafeteria and lounge for graduate and law students. Because the Common, located on the Law School campus is used primarily by law students, the GSAS would like to construct its own student center elsewhere, Thomas McDonald, graduate student council president, said yesterday.

Currently, GSAS pays a quarter of the Common's operating costs and annual deficit. The graduate school's portion of these expenses last year amounted to $50,000.

Last year, the law school proposed to release GSAS from its financial obligation for the Common in return for allowing law school students to occupy an additional floor of Homes Hall, a dormitory, Russell A. Simpson, assistant dean for financial and general administration at the Law School, said yesterday. The graduate school is still considering the offer.

Gerrity said she doubted GSAS would accept the law school's proposal, noting, "We're pressed for space already." GSAS offices occupy the first floor of the hall.


McDonald added that, if negotiations are not concluded in the near future, the Graduate Student Council may partition the Common and establish a section for non-law students.