Among the problems which have arisen in recent years in relation to the accommodation of students at Harvard none have been of more importance-and we are inclined to believe that none have been of as much importance-as the problem which is presented by the over-crowded condition of Memorial Hall. In what manner the increasing number of students is to secure good board at a moderate price is not plain; in fact, it looks today as if, after Memorial had reached its limit, no provision would be made by the University authorities for the students still unaccommodated.
Harvard has today twenty-six hundred students who live in Cambridge and, if anything like the present rate of growth is maintained, there will be four thousand within a very few years. Half of the students who now live in Cambridge would without much question board at Memorial if there was room for them, and there is no reason to suppose that this proportion will be largely changed in the future. Within a few years, therefore, there will probably be two thousand students who will wish Memorial Hall board or an equivalent. Since thirteen hundred is the utmost limit for Memorial under any circumstances, it is bound to be inadequate. While the discussion of the closeness with which this limit shall be approached has its place, the vital question is as to how the much larger number of unaccommodated men are to be cared for.
We believe that this is a vital question. There is no doubt that the existence of Memorial has contributed largely to Harvard's growth and that uncertain conditions as to the quality and price of board would tend to hamper this growth. More important than this is the fact that if a higher price had to be paid for suitable board, this would tend forcibly to put Harvard out of the reach of students of restricted means.
No good will be accomplished by declining to look at all sides of the problem. The question is too large to have these mentioned in a single issue except in a very hasty way, and too important to make this haste desirable.