Students Have Mixed Reaction To Dining Room Policy in Quincy

Citing an overuse of the Quincy House Dining Hall, Master Michael Shinagel announced a new policy last week which limits the number of events held in the facility to one a month.

"A recent survey of all houses on their policies for use of their dining halls for dances and other functions confirmed that Quincy was grossly overbooked," Shinagel's letter said.

Under the old policy, no restrictions were placed on the number of events, such as dances or meetings, scheduled. Under the new policy, no more than one weekend dance or major event will be held in Quincy each month.

"The use of the dining hall by so many groups was really part of what made Quincy such a desirable house." Benjamin C. Kirkup '96-97, a Quincy House member, wrote in a post to the Quincy House newsgroup.

Kirkup's post on the newsgroup generated mixed responses.

"Quincy House...has struck another blow for the death of whatever social life may exist at Harvard," John E. Stafford '96, a Pforzheimer resident, wrote.

Stafford, who is a Crimson editor, said in an interview yesterday that the frequent use of Quincy's dining hall for dances and other activities was reasonable.

"Quincy's dining hall is completely isolated," Stafford said. "[It's] a place that doesn't disturb a lot of people. Not many people understand the limited space for social events."

Irene C. Cheng '97, president of the Asian American Association (AAA) said the change "will make it harder" for her organization to find places to hold events.

Several residents of Quincy House said they support the change of policy.

"I think that Master Shinagel has done the right thing," said Edwin Lin '97, treasurer of AAA and resident of Quincy House. "The dining hall's purpose is to be a dining hall."

The limit does not apply to the Quincy House Committee, but the social chair of the Quincy House Committee, Candace M. Hom '96, said the committee did not plan to have more events.

The chair of the committee, Erica S. Cheng '96, said the restriction was "understandable."

"It seems like Quincy House is used more [than other houses]," Cheng said.

Most houses limit week events to one a month, and some do not have any events, Shinagel's letter said.

This year, the house replaced--much of the furniture in the dining hall, and Shinagel cited wear and tear on the facility as a problem in the past.

Stacy A. Friedman '96, a Quincy House resident, said he thought the wisdom of the policy would have to be judged by its effects on house ambience.

"If this policy makes the dining hall a better place to dine, then it is a good policy," Friedman wrote in response to Kirkup's message. "Parties are, and must be, secondary to this.