In view of the large waiting list which there has been at Memorial during the last two years the directors of the Dining Association are considering the advisability of making some change in the manner of conducting the hall. The College Corporation are determined that some provision shall be made for the great number of students who desire board at a reasonable price. They calculate that the waiting list will be increased next fall to about five hundred, and feel that they must provide for these men in some way. Early in the year the Corporation proposed to the directors of the Dining Association that the hotel system be tried in the hall next year. The proposal met with so much opposition at that time that it was not urged, and the Corporation immediately began considering other plans.
The plan which seemed most practicable was the erection of a new hall. Accordingly plans were drawn and a site selected. The new hall was to be a frame structure, and to accommodate over nine hundred men. It would probably have been put on Holyoke Street, opposite the Hasty Pudding building. The Corporation would have to advance the money for this building, and it stands ready to do so, though it feels that a more determined effort should be made to supply the increased demand with the present accommodations. President Eliot, especially, felt that the Dining Association should at least test the hotel system at Memorial by an experiment.
Accordingly he attended a meeting of the directors a short time ago and presented the matter to them in as strong a light as possible. He cited the opinion of many members of the Foxcroft Club that the hotel system is a pleasanter and more social one than the club table plan. He also presented the reasons why the Corporation feels that at least an experiment should be tried at Memorial before a new hall is erected. In addition he asked the directors to consider what the probable effect of a new hall would be on Memorial. He mentioned the fact that twelve tables have remained non-club tables throughout the year, and said that a possible solution of the difficulty would be to set apart a certain proportion of the tables as club tables, and conduct the rest on the hotel system. This would furnish just the experiment desired, and would give an excellent opportunity to try the two systems side by side. If the hotel system should not be a success it would be easy to return to the plan of fixed seats, and in that case the Corporation would at once proceed to the erection of another hall.
The directors appointed a committee to investigate the advisability of trying some such plan as the President had suggested. At a meeting of the board last night this committee reported, and it was decided that next year the club table system will be preserved in two-thirds of the hall, and the remainder be given up to the hotel system. The details of the plan have not been worked out yet, and probably very little can be known this year of the exact character of the new scheme. But the directors will devote considerable time before fall to preparing the details of the plan, and hope to begin the year with as much absence of friction as usual. It is estimated that the new plan will accommodate from three hundred to five hundred more men than are in the hall at present.