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Sensitive House Masters Needed

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The Minority Student Alliance (MSA) sent a letter to Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 a few weeks ago calling for greater sensitivity towards minorities in the appointment of new house masters for Cabot and Pforzheimer Houses. We applaud this motion by the MSA. The administration should look very carefully at candidates' dealings with minorities as part of the selection process for house master.

The MSA sent its letter after students recently complained about insensitivity from house masters. Although this issue has always been imortant, it is even more of a concern now with the house randomization process. Since randomization will bring increasing ethnic diversity to all the houses, the houses should be prepared to handle any racial issues. With recent incidents involving racially insulting graffitti in Mather House last year and a Confederate flag hung outside of Kirkland House a few years ago, the administration should realize that sensitivity to minorities is an important issue in houses. As randomization splits up strong, vibrant minority communities, it is incumbent upon the University to foster tolerance in the brave new world it has constructed.

Dean Lewis has responded that no minority professors are interested in the position. This is deplorable. First the Faculty Council lowers its nomination standards because not enough members show up. Now house masters cannot be found to accommodate students' concerns, especially when house masters can have such a large influence on students. Even though there have been some faculty requests for racial sensitivity to be included as an issue in house master selection, the faculty needs to step forward to the position. There is only so much the administration can do if there are no faculty members interested.

Although house masters can have great influence on minority issues, another way to make all houses more tolerant of diversity is through the house tutor selection process. At the very least, all houses should designate a tutor who will facilitate race relations dialogue. Students should be able to feel comfortable in all houses, since they may end up living in any one of them.

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