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Thought for Food


Many of the nine to twelve hundred hungry Freshmen who storm the Union three times a day still find the end of the chow line ten to twenty minutes away from the full tray. Most of these long-waiting Yardlings, according to a survey made by the Crimson, present various home-made theories of inefficient management as the cause of the trouble. Union management, however, has discovered that two of the lines can move at a top speed of seven men per minute, while the third, in the recently opened old Varsity Club Dining Hall, can serve five men per minute. At this rate everybody could be served without a wait and within an hour.

The perfect solution, then, is for exactly the right number of men to appear each minute. Impossible as this plan obviously is, it leads to the second-best answer of spreading the load evenly by trying to avoid the rush hour. In the case of supper, while the line is at its heaviest when the doors open at 5:30 o'clock, the rush has been created by just such an attempt, on a universal basis, at arriving when nobody else is eating But at breakfast, when the peak is at 8:30 o'clock, lines could be shortened considerably if the tendency to get up as late as possible was overcome by a hardly few. Similarly, lunch lines are at their longest at 12:15 and 1:15 o'clock, directly after class breaks, while lines between 12:40 and 1:00 o'clock are either negligible or non-existent.

The management of the Union must realize, however, that completely even distribution of the load is impossible, and it should attempt to meet the inevitable rushes with improvements in efficiency even beyond the considerable gains made since the opening of the term. According to the Crimson survey, the lines slow down at a number of points, chief among these being at the coffee and milk section of the counter. More help to keep the coffee and milk pouring faster is the answer here. Other pauses in the usually fast-moving lines occur when students have to help themselves to items such as butter and when refills of food trays don't arrive promptly from the kitchen.

Some problems, such as the national shortage of knives and the physical limitations of a building designed to handle seven or eight hundred at the most are beyond the control of the Union management. But one more move can be made to alleviate the last-minute rush for breakfast. By extending the breakfast hours to 9:00 o'clock as in the Houses, the Union could spread considerably this rush, and satisfy both late sleepers with 10:00 o'clock classes and coffee gulpers.

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