Social Studies To Move to William James Hall

The Committee on Degrees in Social Studies will relocate to William James Hall from its current offices at the Student Organization Center at Hilles in the Radcliffe Quad.

The move will officially take place on Jan. 5, 2015, in preparation for the start of the spring semester.

Space became available in Williams James Hall after the Anthropology department moved out of the building and centralized its offices in the recently reopened Tozzer Library, according to Anya B. Bassett, director of undergraduate studies in Social Studies.


“We're excited to be closer to other social science programs, and we're excited that it will be easier for students to reach our offices,” Bassett wrote in an email.


Bassett wrote that the design of the new location provides gathering space for the concentration’s affiliates.

“Our new space includes a student-faculty lounge which, we hope, will be a place for our concentrators to stop by between classes. We also look forward to hosting social events for members of our community,” she wrote.

Students who dwell in the River Houses said they welcome the committee’s impending move.

“I love that we’re going to have somewhere to hang out in William James. The Social Studies staff is amazing—they’re what make Social Studies the best concentration at Harvard in my opinion. I’d love to be able to see the staff more easily,” said Zak P. Lutz '16, a Social Studies concentrator and peer concentration advisor.

The move to William James Hall will place the committee closer to many buildings where undergraduate classes are typically held.

“There is easier access to a variety of classrooms from the William James Hall area. That might be easier for the junior seminars and junior tutorials that Social Studies offers,” said Kevin Caffery, course director and lecturer on Social Studies.

While the move will make the committee’s offices more convenient for students living in River Houses, concentrators living in the Quad will now have farther to travel, Caffery said, adding that the relocation will not have a major effect on faculty members.

“I don’t think [the move] will bring any big impact in any real sense. I don’t think there will be a dramatic change,” he said.

Caffery also said he did not anticipate a dramatic change in the number of Social Studies concentrators, which he expects to "maintain itself for several years."