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To the Editors of the Crimson:
After two years' absence from the University I have immediately had occasion to notice the unfortunate management of the evening lectures, and I beg leave to express, through your columns, a serious protest against a method which provides seats for the public and turns from the doors the men of the University. I had, perhaps, expected that progression had been at work so far as to provide against this unwise and unjust condition, and so my feeling is as much that of disappointment as of renewed indignation.
As I went into Sanders tonight to attend Mr. Clapp's lecture I found a crowd of disappointed men coming out, preferring (as one of them said) "to stay away rather than stand up for an hour and a half." It was these men of whom I thought as I sat on the floor beside a venerable gray haired lady who slept peacefully through all, and not of any discomfort of may own--for of course I was an outsider.
Now, for whom primarily are these lectures given--the ladies of Cambridge, or the members of the University? Mr. Clapp himself answered that question, I think, when, during his first lecture, he frequently and emphatically appealed to the "Gentlemen of the College," bowing at the same time, to a sea of millinery, and again tonight when he said five times "Gentlemen," and once "Ladies and Gentlemen." The floor seats closely crowded with students would indicate that these seats were reserved, but, even so, how grossly inadequate is so small a space to accommodate the large number of men who must wish to attend these lectures. If the students can not find time to occupy seats two hours before the lecture commences, after the fashion of the rest of the audience, there should be some provision made whereby they can enjoy one of the greatest of the University's privileges.
Remedies are so obvious that it is idle to suggest. The evil is so aggravating that it is impossible--after years--not to protest. A GRADUATE.
Cambridge, Jan. 16, 1900.