City's Newest Citizens Get Acquainted With Cambridge

There's a whole lot more to Cambridge than just Harvard Square.

Just ask any one of 30 freshmen who took a five-hour long walking tour of their new hometown yesterday with Cambridge Mayor Francis H. Duehay '55 and two Harvard students.

Yardlings from as far away as India, Mexico and South Dakota gathered at Memorial Hall and trooped down Cambridge St. to explore the farthest reaches of "the real city."

Let's Get Acquainted

The voyage was one of several orientation outings sponsored by the Freshman Dean's Office this week to acquaint Harvard's greenest students with their urban surroundings. After a Sunday night lecture about how to look at a city and what to take advantage of, about 500 freshmen boarded boats the next day for a tour of Boston Harbor and nearby Georges Island, according to Associate Dean of Freshmen W.C. Burriss Young '55.


Yesterday, different groups of freshmen learned about ecology between Fenway and the Boston Common, walked through the North End, and toured Boston City Hall and the State House.

The off-beat tour through Cambridge exposed students to "the other side of the tracks," as one speaker put it, including a look at the city's housing projects, poultry shops and arts centers.

"This is a city of contrasts," said Dr. Emilio Carillo, a local Hispanic leader who spoke about ethnic issues affecting local residents. "Right here in Cambridge we have the richest and the poorest census tracts in Massachusetts."

After Carillo's talk at the Harrington School, several students chatted in Spanish with an administrator while others discussed volunteering opportunities with representatives of the Portuguese and Haitian communities in Cambridge.

"To tell the truth, in my four years around Harvard Square, I don't think I ever got this far into Cambridge," said John Barnes '69, who briefly spoke to the freshmen in the school's auditorium about the local Central American community.

College Role Models Wanted

Later on, at the Washington Elms public housing project, community activist Janet Rose emphasized the need for active college role models in the city's poorest neighborhood.

"We hated Harvard and MIT students because they take our houses," Rose said during lunch near the projects. "Then somebody said, 'Let's get students working with the neighborhood,'" said the mother of two Harvard students, nothing that many local children lack things like sports and computer instruction.

"You get to Harvard and you don't know there's people between Harvard and MIT," Rose said.

From there, the students journeyed to the recently-restored Cambridge Multi-Cultural Arts Center for a glance at posters by schoolchildren supporting peace efforts with the Soviet Union. Duehay followed with a quick explanation about the city's unique nuclear disarmament commission, which advocates a peace curriculum in city schools.

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