THE READING - ROOM.

WHEN permission was first granted to the undergraduates by the Corporation to use Lower Massachusetts for a reading-room, an association was at once formed and the hall well furnished. It was supposed by all that the only thing lacking in past years had been the countenance and aid of the college authorities in what was conceded to be a great want here, and a want in marked contrast to the privileges of some other colleges. But to the surprise of all, before the Reading-Room had completed a year of its existence, the interest in it seemed to wane, and much dissatisfaction was expressed about it. The established regulations, which were neither unnecessary nor onerous, were not conformed to; many valuable and popular periodicals which had been taken for months ceased to appear; and it really seemed as if the attempt to place Harvard on a level with other colleges in this respect was to become a failure.

The conditions on which the use of the hall was granted were, that the Corporation should advance two hundred dollars to aid in starting the room, and that on the dissolution of the association all its property should revert to the college; and it seemed last spring as if this last condition was very likely to be fulfilled.

The moribund condition of the association seems to have been chiefly due to the lethargy of last year's administration; and with the election of the present board of officers, the association seemed to take a new lease of life, and the evil day of dissolution was averted, for a time at least. The fact then came to light that of last year's Freshmen only thirty had become members; and these last really did not seem to enjoy any privileges from which the rest of the class were debarred.

Now it should be distinctly understood that the Reading-Room is not the public property of the undergraduates; it is private property, the property of a society; and since the departure of '72 and '73 we surmise that this society is far from comprising a majority of the students. The outsiders who frequent the hall probably do not realize that they are trespassing on the rights of others, and it is almost excusable that they should not realize it.

The privileges of the Reading-Room are almost invaluable, and can only be properly appreciated by those of us who experienced the want of them; they are so important that it would be worth while to retain them at almost any inconvenience, even at that of refusing admission to all who could not show in some way at the door that they were regular members of the association.

In order to save us from the humiliation which the failure of the Reading-Room would entail, we earnestly request the two lower classes to second the efforts of the present administration to place the Reading-Room on a firm basis, by joining the association at once.

And a word as to the way in which the room is conducted. We think we can appreciate to some extent what the tribulations of a curator must be; but it really seems as if a little more system might be shown with the newspapers and magazines; and it certainly cannot improve the standing of the Reading-Room with the authorities to have the gas burn till various points of time between 10 P. M. and midnight, then to be extinguished by a private individual, while the door remains unfastened through the night.

HOC.