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Administration Considering Expansion of First-Year Class

By R. ALAN Leo

College administrators are considering a plan that would expand the size of future first-year classes and reduce the number of transfer students admitted to Harvard, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 confirmed yesterday.

Administrators refused to offer further details on the plan, including why they favored an expansion.

They did say that no decisions are imminent on whether to make the changes. Some administrators suggested that a final verdict would no be reached until this winter.

One factor influencing the decision is the impact additional first-year would have on the already-squeezed Yard housing.

Sources said that officials from the Freshman Dean's Office recently went on a tour of Apley Court, a five-story building on Holyoke Street sometimes used as satellite housing for undergraduates from the Yard and other houses.

Once an affluent "gold coast" apartment building, Apley currently houses students and officers of the Dudley House co-op.

Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Freshman Lorri A. McDaniel said the possibility of housing first-years in Apley Court was "not a fait accompli."

Assistant Dean of Freshmen David B. Fithian said yesterday that the administration ideally would find a way to fit the additional first-years in Harvard Yard.

"We're trying to explore every option of keeping freshmen in the Yard," he said. "It's all up in the air."

But Assistant Dean of Freshmen Eleanor A. Sparagana cautioned that the entire discussion may be moot.

"It's premature at this point [to] say where people are going to be," she said, "since we don't even know there are going to be more people."

The last time first-years were housed outside the Yard and Union dorms was during the Yard renovations from 1992 to 1994. Then, dislocated first-years lived in the apartments on 29 Garden St.

Dean of Freshmen Elizabeth Studley Nathans is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

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