Open for the first time in the summer, the dining room of the Cambridge Student Cooperative Society in the Divinity School's Andover Hall has succeeded in serving good food, paying off most of its debt, and providing a valuable meeting place.
The idea for the founding was conceived in 1938 by a group of graduate students, mostly of the Divinity School, who were dissatisfied with both the quality and quantity of food offered in the Square. They appointed a succession of committees to investigate the possibilities of creating an organization and obtaining support from the University. Meeting with favor from Lehman Hall, they were loaned $7,000 for equipment and given free use of the room in Andover Hall.
Board of Six Elected
A board of six directors and a chairman are elected by members to determine policy in weekly meetings and to appoint a manager and treasurer for the dining hall. At present the chairman is Edmund J. Skorupski 3L, and the manager and treasurer are Joseph J. LoBrutto 3L and Caleb Smith, teaching fellow in Economics, respectively.
Each member who signed up for the summer contributed $2.50 for working capital which will be refunded at the end of the season. The 300 summer members, of whom 75 are Army and Navy officers, eat a total of 2000 meals a week in the dining room.
Costs are computed so closely that when the hall is running according to schedule, a profit of only one-tenth of a cant is earned for each plate. Only four full-time kitchen helpers are employed, since the Cooperative has 25 graduate student workers who earn their meals by working ten hours a week.
Undergraduates, as occasional guests, are agreeably surprised and satisfied by the food. The members receive for lunch, which costs them 35 cents, meat, three vegetables, unlimited bread and butter, coffee and milk, and dessert. At dinner, for which the members pay 50 cents, soup and salad are added. Featuring the meals is the milk, which comes from Government Professor Carl J. Friedrich's dairy.
Group is Diversified
When a meal is in full swing, the cafeteria style dining room contains a very diversified group. A graduate musician peels potatoes, a chemistry fellow deals out vegetables, and a biology section man scoops out the ice cream.
On the other side of the counter, military and naval men are intermingled with Law Review men, Littauer Fellows, linguists, poets, and scientists. Every graduate school and department of the University is represented and there are men from nearly all the states and many foreign countries.
Social Value Great
The dining room is valuable to its members not only as an eating place, but it is also their only counterpart of the undergraduate House system. Many friendships made at meal time, their only opportunity to meet socially, continue for years.