Let Freshmen be warned--the time of year for room applications in the Houses is approaching. They will be asked for the maximum price they can afford to pay. They will be given a room, usually, about sixty dollars above this maximum. After their Sophomore years, they will not be able to transfer into cheaper rooms. If they have been separated from their friends during the year, they will not be able to rejoin them unless there is a net increase in room prices. Let them be forewarned of these conditions.
Last year the prices Freshmen wrote down as their maximums were almost all exceeded without any apparent hardships to those who fill the Houses. But, naturally, the policy of Armenian higgling has led to a vitiation of the advantages which pertained to the position of the authorities during the first surprise years. As soon as the bluffing was two-sided, the original bluffer lost his superiority Knowing what sonority will be attributed to their "maximum price," the students naturally ask for below that price.
The minority of those who answered truthfully, however, suffered. Room mates with unequal maximums were separated. The suggestion was even made that a lower priced double room should be taken and that the richer of the two should pay the higher price for it, thus leaving a better room to some one else at the cheaper price. No, that could certainly not be arranged. It would upset everything. And think of the difficulties of bookkeeping! So that a very equitable arrangement was banned without question--and a lesson was learned.
The House authorities have accepted the principle that the cheaper rooms should be allotted according to the ability to pay of the prospective inhabitant. Those who apply for cheap rooms should be given the same treatment as candidates for scholarships. Certainly the whole affair should be above-board. There is no need of a contest in bluffing.