Too Little Room
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
It is about time the University assumed some responsibility in regard to seating at special lectures.
I have just now been turned away from the door of Mr. Eliot's lecture to the solemn assurance that there were no seats left inside. This despite the fact that a friend came out of the auditorium fifteen minutes before the start of the lecture and could equally solemnly assure the officers that there was indeed an empty seat inside being held for me.
At Bertrand Russell's recent lecture I arrived an hour early in order to secure a good seat. When the lecture was about to begin it was decided that a larger hall was needed for the overflow. As a result I was at a disadvantage when the rush started and I was able to get only a much inferior seat in Sanders Theatre, compared to the one I had enjoyed in the New Lecture Hall. Furthermore, there had been a loud speaker in the New Lecture Hall but none was in Sanders Theatre. Mr. Russell's aged voice was not large enough to fill Sanders Theatre.
Last year I arrived half an hour early to hear a lecture by Margaret Mead in the Fogg Large Room. No room left inside. No one had had the foresight to realize that the room was ridiculously small for the occasion, and it was then too late to find a bigger place.
Of course it is obvious that the auditorium situation at the University is woefully inadequate and remains so while plaques make more beautiful Memorial Church and new Varsity Clubs give the esthetic lift needed for unbeaten football teams.
In the meanwhile the University can do at least three things. First, use some common sense in anticipating crowds, so that at least the maximum number of seats will be available, even if that maximum is not enough. Second, insure that it is the students who get the seats (not just generally curious non-university people), or at least that students get priority, by issuing ickets to faculty and students, or merely by checking bursar's cards. Third, determine a policy on the saving of seats for friends (and, if it is to be permitted, then some system for informing the policeman at the door). In general the University has handled the crowds disgracefully. Henrik Krollus '51