The University will increase security around the Union dorms in the wake of a recent 30-person brawl on the steps of Pennypacker Hall involving Cambridge youths and Harvard freshmen, the Freshman Dean's Office (FDO) announced this week.
The new safety measures include installing a blue-light emergency phone outside of Pennypacker, increasing street illumination, and boosting Harvard Police surveillance of the area. Tom E. Hassan, senior advisor for the Union dorms, said.
The October 9 brawl, and an unrelated earlier incident in which two Cambridge residents threatened a Pennypacker resident with a knife, had sparked a series of meetings between students and Freshman Dean Henry C. Moses who solicited security suggestions from the undergraduates.
Several Union dorm residents said the two incidents had created great concern among students.
"I'm very worried about the security around Pennypacker, and I don't think I should pay $12,000 a year and not be able to go out at night without fear," Pauline W. Chen '86 said this week.
Others dismissed problems in the past, although they praised the new precautions. Robert C. Cormack '86, also a Pennypacker resident, said. "It [the brawl] was just a one-time occurrence. Anything like it won't happen again."
Hassan said that Harvard Police have already stepped up patrols of the area and that maintenance officials will install the new blue-light phone by mid-November. He added that he does not anticipate future troubles in the area.