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To the Editors of the Crimson:
You may be interested to hear some facts bearing on your editorial with regard to student waiters at Memorial Hall. From your purely speculative treatment of the subject it is evident that you are unaware of the existence of a certain other dining club - a fact sufficiently accounted for by the confining nature of your editorial duties, yet one which it would have been very well worth your while to have known before expressing opinions which, as you will readily see in a moment, appear, in view of its existence, at once practically unsound and from a sentimental point of view, undesirably rude.
The institution of which I speak is composed of about four hundred officers and students of the University; from among whom its corps of waiters is made up. It has been in existence in its "commodious quarters adjoining the College Yard" for some eight or nine years. You will see immediately, that here was an opportunity had you known of it, to check conjectures as to what might be by knowledge of what is.
As to the material difficulties in the shape of certain falling off in the quality of service, I can say from experience at Memorial Hall as well as at this other place that the service at the latter is more prompt and more intelligent than at the former. As to the repugnance on the part of students to being served by fellow students in Memorial Hall fashion, it seems to me that you are frightened at an entirely unnecessary and improbable state of affairs. I can assure you that the relations existing between a student and a colored waiter are not tolerated at this club, and that it is entirely possible to disassociate the duties of a student waiter from the social standing which accompanies, permit me to say, not those duties, but the waiters themselves, at Memorial Hall.
I recognize perfectly well that there are other difficulties in the way of making use of this system of table service at Memorial Hall, due to radical differences in the character of the two associations, but I am sure that none of them are the ones you have mentioned.
So much for the practical bearing of your editorial. If you will now re-read your last paragraph, remembering that some thirty or forty of your college mates are engaged in the service of which you there speak, you will see what I mean by undesirable rudeness. You have said:
"It is a most unwise policy to encourage among college students the resort to methods of money earning which rank so low in the scale of honorable employment. The theory that all self-supporting labor is honorable is here in danger of being too widely applied. There are certain forms of menial service to which it is not well for a self-respecting man to become habituated, even if such a one can. Among them the waiting in Memorial Hall may safely be classed."
Nothing in your editorial makes your comments on waiting in Memorial Hall fail of equal application to waiting in any other college dining hall.
I am very sure that no member of Foxcroft Club, whether a waiter or not, has read your editorial without feeling much hurt, and to a considerable degree insulted. I trust that no Harvard man can fail to recognize in your sentiments an expression of disloyalty to his college.
Very sincerely yours,PAUL CAPRON.Cambridge, June thirteenth.