To most of the students living in Houses, the regulations restricting the number of meals they may cat in other Houses to three a week is a source of bitter and constant annoyance. Now that the flat board rate of $8.50 has been introduced, and undergraduates must pay for 21 meals a week even if they eat at their club, their home, or Dirty Mary's, bookkeeping and budget considerations have bene simplified enough so that the subject of unlimited inter-House meals can be seriously considered at the next meeting of the committee of House masters.
This problem has been brought up before, but beyond a meagre recommendation by the House committee chairman to alter the present system, nothing has actually been done. The strongest argument against the unlimited meal plan is that certain men who, for one reason or the other, are dissatisfied with their House, will spend practically all their lunch and supper hours in another dining hall in the company of their "more fortunate" friends.
But it seems obvious that whatever the original purpose of the House plan, it is impossible to segregate all members and keep them tied down within the boundaries of Eliot, Dunster, or Lowell. Upperclassmen generally have many contacts outside their own House, but they can easily lose track of friendships made in their Freshman year because of the difficulty of taking meals in other Houses more than three times a week. The present rule is almost paradoxical, since Harvard is noted for its treatment of undergraduates as rational human beings. Furthermore, a "host" rarely has the effrontery to ask his guest if he is exceeding his outside meal quota, and so frequently gets stuck if he is exceeding his outside meal quota, and so frequently gets stuck with the check. If an unlimited inter-House meal plan were adopted, visiting could logically be curtailed during House dinners and other special occasions.
The next move is up to the House masters. They alone have the power to abolish the current system, which is irritatingly outdated now that the standard rate prevails. Some sort of investigation seems to be the only fair answer to the hapless students who maintain that a greater amount of liberty would lessen "that restricted feeling."