THE new Commons, or rather the Harvard Dining-Hall Association, which has now been in existence more than three weeks, gives, on the whole, general satisfaction. The result of what was virtually an experiment must be extremely gratifying both to the Corporation and to the students; and, as the cost of preparing the Hall for the club was upwards of thirty thousand dollars, it is to be expected that the Corporation will see to it that no falling-off shall occur in the present arrangements. The food is wholesome, well cooked, and abundant, but not of great variety. Meat is furnished twice a day, cold meat being given at breakfast and hot at dinner; hot rolls and good coffee are also given at breakfast.
As the Corporation promised that the price of board should not be greater than it had been at the Thayer Club, the only improvements the new club could promise were a beautiful hall instead of an old, tumble-down railroad-depot, neat and trained negro-waiters instead of untidy Irish women, and the prospect of food somewhat better than at the old Commons, owing to the increase in the numbers of the club, and to the skill and experience of a professional steward. In respect of all these the club is certainly far ahead of the old railroad-depot. The waiters are quick and intelligent, and as each man has but one table of twelve students to serve, they do their work very satisfactorily; the food is cooked much better than at the Thayer, and is served infinitely better; and the members of the club have the privilege, to quote the words of President Eliot, of dining in "the grandest college-hall in the world." There was one other inducement held out to the men to change the Commons into the Harvard Dining-Hall Association, namely, the moral improvement that would result from constantly sitting under the ridge-pole of the "grandest college-hall in the world." When this prediction was made, very few were ready to believe that even the grandest college-hall could raise the moral tone of the average undergraduate, but our enthusiastic President's expectation seems actually to have been realized. Thus far the greatest order and decorum have prevailed amongst the students (though the hall does not seem to have had so beneficial an effect upon the negroes), and the quizzical face of Nicholas Boylston and the stern countenance of John Adams have not yet been improved by the addition of a pat of butter. Indeed, if the moral improvement had not shown itself from the opening of the hall, the behavior of the students would have to be attributed to the lecture on table-etiquette, which was reported in the last Advocate. There can be no doubt that the advice there given will tend to cause still further progress toward a higher civilization.
There are still many points of the management in which a change might be made for the better, but as the club is but just fairly under way, this is hardly the time to begin complaining.