Last fall the Board of Directors, at the suggestion of the Overseers laid aside one-third of the tables to be used as general tables on what is popularly known as the "hotel system." It was done with considerable reluctance, not so much because they knew it would be disagreeable to the members of the hall, but because they doubted the practicability of the plan. But it worked well; after the first weeks there were few complaints and except at lunch when there was at times a scarcity of seats, the change worked fairly well. Nevertheless the cooking resources were taxed to the utmost and it was clearly shown that no provision could be made for a greater increase. In addition the system of "checking" was very unsatisfactory, but nobody could devise a better.
This year the Board has transferred three more tables and increased the number of men at them. It is impossible to accommodate more men with the present facilities for cooking, yet the Overseers are desirous, we understand, of adding two more men to the club tables, which would leave to club tables only their name and enter a wedge toward general tables for the whole hall.
Granting that the system has succeeded better than was expected, it is still far from perfect and we fail to see how it can be extended to the whole hall. From the standpoint of those who after all have to eat there and bear the practical illustration of the experiment, the general table system is not desirable. But from the steward's standpoint - which is that the facilities are now overtaxed and cannot be increased - it is evident that something must be done.
That something lies in the erection of the new dining hall which the Overseers were meditating erecting at the time they proposed the change at Memorial. For a moderate sum a wooden hall can be erected on Holyoke street to accomodate a thousand men at a cost of board nearly equal to that at Memorial. The time has surely now come for this building. It will remedy the undesirable results of the general tables to students and relieve the pressure on the facilities at Memorial. The change there has fulfilled its part, - it has afforded temporary relief and it can afford no more. We need better facilities and those must come in a new dininghall.