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Masters Postpone Keycard Decision

By David C. Newman, Crimson Staff Writer

The debate over universal keycard access (UKA) will continue into the new year, after Harvard’s House Masters decided to postpone discussion of the contentious issue until next month.

Five days after the Committee on House Life (CHL) recommended that the Masters act on a student proposal to extend UKA until 2:30 a.m., the Masters met yesterday with the intention to decide the controversial question, but ended up tabling the issue until January.

Currier House Master William A. Graham said there were many items on the Masters’ agenda and not enough time left in the meeting to adequately address the UKA issue.

“A number of questions were raised that couldn’t be answered at the meeting,” Graham said.

He said these questions included concerns about security guard coverage of the Houses past the current 1 a.m. UKA lockdown.

Graham said the postponement until January should not endanger the proposal, which calls for a one-semester trial period of later access beginning in February. Should the Masters agree to the change, implementation would be able to go forward on time, he said.

Undergraduate Council members were heartened by the Masters’ decision not to reject the proposal out-of-hand.

“My gut reaction is that this is not a bad sign,” said Student Affairs Committee chair Rohit Chopra ’04, who is one of the council members who has pushed for the change.

Council President Paul A. Gusmorino ’02 noted that the Masters tabled the council’s initiative to extend dining hall party hours until 2 a.m. before ultimately accepting the proposal this fall.

The 2:30 a.m. UKA measure is seen as a compromise by council members who pushed last semester for all-night UKA.

Last February, CHL refused to recommend to the Masters a student proposal for 24-hour UKA in all the Houses. Currently, Quincy is the only House with all-night access.

—Staff writer David C. Newman can be reached at

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