Dunster Dining Hall May Remain Open Next Spring
Administration representatives met with Dunster House students and tutors yesterday and revealed that the Dunster Dining Hall may not be closed next spring.
The meeting came in response to the widespread protest in Dunster House against the administration's decision to close the dining hall next spring while the new Mather House kitchen is being built.
Answering questions before a crowd of fifty in the Dunster JCR, the three administrators--Arthur D. Trottenberg '48, Assistant Dean for Resources and Planning, W.S. Gardiner, deputy director of Buildings and Grounds, and Graham Hurlbut, director of the University Food Services, said that:
* The dining hall and kitchen may not be closed at all during the school year, Trottenberg said last night that "no final decisions have been made, and all options are still open;"
* The dining room itself will remain open for House activities even if the kitchen has to be closed;
* Food may be catered into the dining hall if the kitchen is closed so that Dunster students can eat together in their own House.
After the meeting, Trottenberg announced the formation of a joint committee of students and administrators. The committee--which will consist of Trottenberg, Hurlbut, Gardiner, and a Dunster House student representative--will begin meeting this week to discuss the Mather construction plans and the various alternatives to closing the Dunster kitchen.
During the meeting Gardiner said that possible labor shortage--not mere economizing--was the real reason the hall might be closed next spring. The University expects a carpenter's strike next May, Gardiner said. If the strike seems imminent he said, construction would have to begin by April 1 to meet the September 1969 deadline for the opening of Mather House. However, Gardiner said that construction might be put off until June if there was no danger of a strike.
The student-administration committee will have wide-ranging powers, Trottenberg said that the committee will discuss "all the possible alternatives", including delaying the closing until June, catering in food, or having Dunster students eat in other Houses or at the Business School.
In addition, the administration has asked the committee to review many of the architects' plans for Mather House, Thomas J. Shields '69 chair man of the Dunster House Committee, said last night. "The committee is being given extraordinary latitude," Shields said.
After the committee completes its investigations, it will make its recommendations to the administration. Gardiner emphasized that the administration "is making no decisions until we've had a chance to talk with the students."
Both students and administrators said that yesterday's meeting was successful. "It was beneficial to all of us," Gardiner said, "and it was friendly and worthwhile." Stewart W. Kemp '69, one of the five students at the meeting, said that the administrators were "very cooperative," and that the previous conflict "was just a breakdown in communication."
Kemp added that the meeting cleared up many of the students' misconceptions about plans for Mather House.