Open All Night: College Ponders Extending Hours

As the campus buzzes with talk of Harvard's 27th president and what his leadership might mean for the College, a friendly--but very real--policy war has slipped through the radar.

The contentious question: how late should Harvard stay awake?

Twenty-four hour universal keycard access (UKA) was the first battle.


Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 then weighed in with his suggestion that the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC), once renovated, could become a 24-hour facility.

The next step, say Undergraduate Council leaders, is to push House Masters to extend weekend party hours from 1 until 2 a.m.

The debate is unusual in its breadth--there are a number of seemingly separate issues under review by administrators--as well as its scope. And it is strange in another respect: no clear lines have been drawn between student and administration positions. While students are clearly pushing the UKA and party initiatives, it is Lewis and Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth '71 who have raised the issue of MAC access.

At the center of keycard initiatives and musings about how late a good party lasts, is an educational debate about what kind of sleeping habits the College should encourage with its policies.

Changes to Harvard Standard Time may not be quickly forthcoming--in particular, the MAC will not see any renovations for months. But there is a trend toward reexamining the way Harvard sets its clocks that may have profound ramifications on student life.

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