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Seats and the Houses


Only two-fifths of Harvard's undergraduate season-ticket holders get any closer to the main-ground of gridiron play that thirty yards from midfield. This is a much-lamented fact, but what most complainants fail to realize is that its cause lies in the architectural lay-out of Harvard Stadium, not in the H. A. A.'s distributive system.

Yale boasts the ideal football arena. Because of its oval shape, the Bowl provides four or five complete seating-sections situated relatively close to the 50-yard line, as well as generally good visibility from almost any point in the stands. This is hardly true of Harvard Stadium. Its downfield visibility, especially in the lower tiers, cannot approach the fullness of a view from the Bowl. Virtually rectangular in construction, the Soldiers Field amphitheatre contains only two sections actually centered between the 40-yard markers; and since there are no seating facilities on the field itself, one of these sections is permanently occupied by members of the football squads and their coaching staffs.

The H. A. A. has always faced this problem squarely. Necessary preferences in location--such as those granted to dignitaries, former football "H" men and the College Bono--are carefully restricted. Clubs, Alumni and graduate students are considered only after the undergraduates in seat-allotment. Bill Binghams' recent announcement of the new seating-plan for next year is a reassertion of this benevolent attitude toward the undergraduate. In an attempt to appease the discontented, men about Yardling rank may, if they like, be seated with one of the House groups. The Stadium locations of these House units are to be determined by a draw, in which two groups, representing commuters and out-of-House men, will stand on equal footing with the House groups.

Originally suggested by the cheerleaders in the belief that students might yell louder if placed with their friends, the innovation amounts to letting undergraduates sit virtually wherever they please. For if a man living in one House prefers to join his friends in another, a switch is perfectly agreeable to the H. A. A.

The new set-up can prove no cure-all for a disease that is essentially incurable; but it may heal up some of the chronic grievances aggravated by indiscriminately seating men with their classes. Under the new plan, only the Freshmen--retaining their traditional sector in the midfield track-seats--will remain subject to the inelastic rules of the old class-seniority system.

This shift in the seating arrangement is admittedly an experiment, and whether it works or not is a question which cannot be answered until well into next fall. But, successful or not, the H. A. A. is doing its best to give the Crimson cheering section a better look at their team.

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