It is at once a reflection on the University and a credit to the courage and initiative of eight Harvard and Radcliffe graduates that at long last glimmerings of a cooperative lunch and social center may be seen on the horizon. For many years graduate students, as well as undergraduates outside the Houses, have had an amorphous existence. In spite of President Conant's interest in the project, no dining hall was forthcoming; and hopes for a social center were even more illusory. Then, with no sign of help from above, a group of students took matters into their own hands; and now tat their scheme is nearing success, the least that the University can do is to lend a helping hand.
Happily, it is not a question of money. The cooperative is determined to be financially self-supporting, and with good management this should be possible. What the University can and should do is provide housing, for with Cambridge, rents what they are, overhead is a particularly knotty problem. The location on a second floor of Church Street should be regarded as temporary, or at least a nucleus; for the co-op should have not only a dining hall and kitchen but common and game rooms as well. This will eventually involve a separate building, or, better, three: one north of the Yard, one south of the river, and a third near the Yard for undergraduates. For the distant future it is even possible to envisage as near an approximation of the House system as would be useful to graduate students.
This, of course, is beside the immediate point; it was a stupendous task even to get the scheme under way. Nevertheless, now that a beginning has been made the University should keep a watchful eye focused on the newest of its students' enterprises, helping it over the rough sports, lending it all the advice and assistance which it will accept. Where other persons have talked, this group has acted; and their project, while embryonic at present, bodes well for the future and most not be allowed to die.