We are dismayed at the administration's recent announcement that the houses will not open until Wednesday September 10, two days prior to upperclass registration and two days after first-year tabling. This poses two major problems:
First, whereas in recent years, students were permitted to move into their rooms the Friday before first-year registration in order to accommodate student groups needing time and space to advertise their clubs and activities to first-years, this year they will not be able to move in until well after publicity prime time.
While the deans believe that the combination of providing each student group with two beds in temporary housing and of urging those groups' local-dwelling members to be responsible for first-year tabling is adequate, we feel that the change in move-in date will damage groups' early publicity efforts beyond mere inconvenience.
Allowing students an early move-in the Friday prior to registration has, in past years, spelled the opportunity for student groups to prepare for the Monday tabling and to get extra-curricular programs off and running. That opportunity has now been undermined.
Second, we are disappointed that upperclass students will now have only two days to move into their dorm rooms before registration. A long and leisurely orientation week has, in the past, been a chance for friends to get reacquainted after the summer, for roommates to trek to local stores for dorm decorations and for students generally to enjoy themselves before the onset of academic pressures.
According to Associate Dean of the College for Human Resources Thomas A. Dingman '67, several house masters and senior tutors were concerned that "there were too many students back without enough to do" in early September. It concerns us that while professing an interest in student life and extracurricular activities, the administration does not consider these segments of the Harvard experience important enough to encourage by opening the dorms early.
The Deans remind us that this is not a new policy; rather, the College is going back to its schedule of three and four years past. We agree that the decision is indeed a regression and we urge the administration to reconsider.