With a simple swipe of their ID cards, Faculty members will now be allowed to accompany students to meals in any House, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 announced Friday.
The program, largely the result of lobbying by Undergraduate Council members John Paul Rollert '00 and Michael D. Shumsky '01, is likely to begin within a week.
According to Shumsky, the program represents a joint effort by administrators and students to provide more avenues for informal interaction between students and their professors.
"It is, of course, one of the regular criticisms of Harvard that such interactions happen too infrequently," Lewis wrote in an e-mail message.
Shumsky said he hoped to combat the perception that the Harvard Faculty, in contrast to that of Yale and Princeton's, is inaccessible to students.
He called the move the "first step in the process" of improving relations between faculty and students.
Under the new plan, senior Faculty members, including professors and some lecturers and preceptors, will be able to eat unlimited meals at the Houses or at Annenberg Hall, just as students do.
Students will continue to have to obtain a meal voucher in advance to take teaching fellows or junior lecturers and preceptors to meals in their Houses. But while vouchers used to be available only at University Hall, they can now also be obtained at the Houses and Annenberg.
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