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Lewis Promises Review

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 last week officially agreed to review the College's randomization policy and to release data on the breakdown of the undergraduate houses by race, concentration and other categories to the Committee on House Life (COHL) in three years.

According to COHL members, Lewis also agreed to create a special committee in 1998 to review this data and to assess the effect of randomization on the makeup of the houses, if asked to do so at that time by the COHL.

COHL member Robert B. Wolinsky '98-'97 said that Lewis would release data for the years of 1996 and 1998 to a new subcommittee of the COHL.

Lewis's agreement to review randomization marks the first time he has approved a bill under the Nelson-Grimmelmann Act. This act, passed by the Undergraduate Council in February, allows Lewis to approve or veto certain bills passed by the council.

According to the bill the council sent to Lewis, the review committee would be a special branch of the COHL and would include three students.

A majority of either the student or faculty members of the COHL would be sufficient to initiate Lewis' review according to the provisions of the council's bill.

There are five students and five house masters on COHL.

At an April 10 meeting, Associate Dean of the College Thomas A. Dingman '67 said that many house masters advised Lewis not to release the breakdowns at this time.

"The racial information exists, but the masters...felt that to get the information out in a public way perhaps just confirmed stereotypes," Dingman said.

But Wolinsky said that he thinks the demographics of the houses will become public in three years when the review committee publishes its findings.

"In conjunction with the review, it makes sense to reveal them," Wolinsky said. "Otherwise the conclusions of the committee wouldn't make sense."

According to committee member Nienke C. Grossman '99, Lewis has archives of such data.

"He has information on everything from average GPA, to SATs, to concentration, to varsity athletic participation," Grossman said.

Undergraduate Council President Robert M. Hyman '98-'97, who was present at the COHL meeting, said he thought the released information would also include figures on religion.

Grossman said that agreeing to the review was a positive step towards understanding the ramifications of randomization.

"By 1998, when we asked for the review, the three classes would be random[ized]," Grossman said. "We want to see the comparisons so we can see if randomization has met its stated goals."

Lewis has been on vacation and could not be reached yesterday for comment

According to the bill the council sent to Lewis, the review committee would be a special branch of the COHL and would include three students.

A majority of either the student or faculty members of the COHL would be sufficient to initiate Lewis' review according to the provisions of the council's bill.

There are five students and five house masters on COHL.

At an April 10 meeting, Associate Dean of the College Thomas A. Dingman '67 said that many house masters advised Lewis not to release the breakdowns at this time.

"The racial information exists, but the masters...felt that to get the information out in a public way perhaps just confirmed stereotypes," Dingman said.

But Wolinsky said that he thinks the demographics of the houses will become public in three years when the review committee publishes its findings.

"In conjunction with the review, it makes sense to reveal them," Wolinsky said. "Otherwise the conclusions of the committee wouldn't make sense."

According to committee member Nienke C. Grossman '99, Lewis has archives of such data.

"He has information on everything from average GPA, to SATs, to concentration, to varsity athletic participation," Grossman said.

Undergraduate Council President Robert M. Hyman '98-'97, who was present at the COHL meeting, said he thought the released information would also include figures on religion.

Grossman said that agreeing to the review was a positive step towards understanding the ramifications of randomization.

"By 1998, when we asked for the review, the three classes would be random[ized]," Grossman said. "We want to see the comparisons so we can see if randomization has met its stated goals."

Lewis has been on vacation and could not be reached yesterday for comment

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