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Lewis: Randomization May Be Reviewed

Dean Will Reevaluate Housing Policy in Three Years If COHL Recommends It

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 has agreed to review the College's policy of randomizing the undergraduate houses in three years if the Committee on House Life requests that he do so.

Undergraduate Council representatives on the committee asked last Tuesday that Lewis make a "firm commitment" to review the policy of randomized housing assignments in three years, when the houses will have been filled completely by randomized populations.

The Committee on House Life is comprised of house masters, administrators and selected Undergraduate Council representatives.

In three years, student members of the committee will not have been at Harvard prior to the implementation of the randomization policy.

Students were not the only members of the committee who expressed the desire for a review after the houses are completely randomized.

Cabot House Master Jurij Striedter said reviews of new housing systems are common, and that such reviews would have the support of the masters.

"When we did the last system...it was also decided we would [consider] it in three years--so that is normal," Striedter told the committee.

Student members of the committee cited the uneven gender distribution in housing assignments this year as an example of how the current system of assigning houses might fail to achieve its stated goal of diversity in the houses.

"We already saw...that several houses came out very skewed, but we don't know what other skewing is happening," said Robert B. Wolinsky '98-'97, a student member of the committee and a Cabot House resident.

The committee spent some time discussing what a review by Lewis might entail, and whether statistics or more informal survey answers would be employed.

Thomas A. Dingman '67, associate dean of the College for housing, said yearly statistics are recorded on the demographic makeup of each house, including data on residents' concentrations, race, ethnicity, gender, athletics by recruitment, public/private schools, SAT scores and GPA.

Those statistics have not been released to avoid stereotyping of the houses, Lewis said. The release of the gender ratios by house at the com- studies."

However, other panelists said they thought the creation of an independent department was not a necessary step for the study of ethnicity.

"Race is a construct--not the key factor," said Professor of Anthropology David H. Maybury-Lewis. "A comparative nature is where it's at. The University has to be the framework for these studies."

Organizers said the purpose of the conference was to raise awareness of ethnic studies issues.

"Our purpose is to bring together a fine array of scholars and students to discuss in an open forum various concerns of racial and ethnic studies," said Veronica S. Jung '97, who is on the AAC. "A common pursuit of excellence' cannot happen without the existence of such forums."

Students on the AAC said the large number of people that attended the forum represented a sign of student interest and support in this issue.

"It is really exciting to have everyone come together," said Jennifer Y. Lin '98, a member of the AAC. "This is the first time in a public forum that all these different views had a chance to hear each other out. But we are frustrated that no concrete commitment was issued from the administration."

Rebecca C. Kiley '98, who attended the forum, said "all of the faculty and administration that were here to discuss this issue shows an increasing commitment. The student support is a clear reminder that the state of ethnic affairs at Harvard is not where it should be.

However, other panelists said they thought the creation of an independent department was not a necessary step for the study of ethnicity.

"Race is a construct--not the key factor," said Professor of Anthropology David H. Maybury-Lewis. "A comparative nature is where it's at. The University has to be the framework for these studies."

Organizers said the purpose of the conference was to raise awareness of ethnic studies issues.

"Our purpose is to bring together a fine array of scholars and students to discuss in an open forum various concerns of racial and ethnic studies," said Veronica S. Jung '97, who is on the AAC. "A common pursuit of excellence' cannot happen without the existence of such forums."

Students on the AAC said the large number of people that attended the forum represented a sign of student interest and support in this issue.

"It is really exciting to have everyone come together," said Jennifer Y. Lin '98, a member of the AAC. "This is the first time in a public forum that all these different views had a chance to hear each other out. But we are frustrated that no concrete commitment was issued from the administration."

Rebecca C. Kiley '98, who attended the forum, said "all of the faculty and administration that were here to discuss this issue shows an increasing commitment. The student support is a clear reminder that the state of ethnic affairs at Harvard is not where it should be.

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