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Police Called to Break Up Pillow Fight in Grays

Proctors Plan to Restrict Access to Dorm's Common Room in Wake of Late-Night Fracas

By Malka A. Older

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye--or calls the cops.

That's exactly what happened last Thursday night, when the Harvard Police were summoned to investigate commotion in the Grays Hall Common Room, only to discover that the source of the disturbance was a pillow fight among summer school students.

Associate Dean of Freshmen W.C. Burriss Young '55 instigated the break-up, calling to report "the common room open and people throwing furniture around," according to the Harvard police blotter.

Soon thereafter, two police cars and a police motorcycle pulled into the Yard to take control of the situation, summer school proctors were told in a private meeting last night.

Michael J. Prokopow, assistant dean of the Harvard Secondary School Program, said the incident was straightforward and reasonable.

"Some students were in the common room and the police asked them to leave because they were misbehaving," Prokopow said. "Abusing the property of one of Harvard's rooms is misbehaving."

Police and administrators did not say whether any students were disciplined for the incident.

In last night's meeting, proctors were also told that the Grays Common Room would be locked up in response to the incident.

The common room will now be available only to students who have signed out a key during the Summer School Office's business hours, proctors were told last night.

Nearly a dozen Grays residents interviewed last night said they knew nothing of the pillow fight. Two others said they had heard only a little about the incident.

Proctors questioned before and after the meeting refused to comment on the incident.

Police also refused to offer details what was in the blotter. But even the blotter offered a wry commentary on the incident:

"The guard and two units were sent. Michael Prokopow was notified and responded to the scene. Students were having a pillow fight. Units had to be cleared and sent to another call."

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