Saturday, November 26

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Letters to the Editor

On dorm-construction dilemma

While we all were disappointed with the recent construction developments with Scully Hall as disclosed in the April 1 Daily Princetonian, I think we should attempt to put these events in some perspective.


First, I think we would all agree that the administration's recent record of construction management has been exemplary over a broad range of projects. A minor problem with foundation failure due to "soft firmament" should not lead to allegations of a "vast right-wing Scullygate conspiracy." Everyone makes mistakes.

Second, I think we can all agree that even after the required physical revisions, the building will still be very acceptable. After all, excess bathrooms are really not that essential, and the conversions of singles into doubles will restore that Princeton tradition of bonding in close quarters. Excessive creature comforts never built character anyway. I must also object to the disparaging analogies to "packed like sardines" and "herded beef cattle," two of my favorite species.

Finally, the prospect of living on cots in Dillon Gym for a few short months should actually have some appeal. The place is steeped in tradition and has the aroma of history about it.

I will concede that it is probably inappropriate, however, for students to be put at risk in the new dorm, until it is clear that the engineering corrections are holding and that excessive settling is not occurring. In that spirit I would propose that a group consisting of myself and my classmates, dozens of whom have already volunteered, be allowed to test the new building's integrity at the critical structural joints, namely the large corner suites. After perhaps a sixty-day occupancy period of intensive use, with full student status and privileges, we would all feel more comfortable allowing actual students to fully occupy the building. It is the least we can do in discharge of our fiduciary responsibilities. The Class of 1966, as always, stands ready to serve. John H. Scully '66