Council Panel Questions Problem of Dining Halls

The administration expects a $150,000 deficit from operation of the dining halls for 1959-60, according to panelists at last night's Student Council sponsored forum.

The panel expected the deficiency to result not only from the inflationary costs of food and labor, but from the addition of the Quincy kitchen without a proportional increase in the number of paying students. The imbalance will not be apparent until January, when the Leverett House dining hall reopens its doors.

Since, according to Corporation rules, dining facilities must be self-sufficient, a $40 board increase would be necessary to fill the financial gap, unless an alternative can be found.

Arthur M. Trottenberg '47, Manager of Operating Services, opened last night's discussion with an outline of several methods under study to reduce expenses: the use of pre-filled trays, part-time closure of some halls, and a semi-smorgasbord in which employees serve only the main dishes.

Charles H. Taylor, Master of Kirkland House, suggested that actual meal hours be shortened and facilities closed for certain weekend meals. "I would approve a raise in board rates, but not a limitation of hours," countered John J. Conway, Master of Leverett House, who felt that, as centers of House activity rather than cafeterias, the dining halls should have no rushed atmosphere. "They represent education over the dining table," agreed Trottenberg.

Other propositions discussed by the panel were a reduction in employees, a standard menu for all Houses, a study on attendance at meals, and a coordination of noon-time classes with dining hall rush hours by the Registrar's office.