It is 9 o'clock in the morning. Outside Memorial Hall, in a line packed three deep and trailing along Cambridge Street as far as Littaner Center, and hundreds of University veterans waiting to fill V.A. book authorizations. Inside the Hall, nervously awaiting them, are Mrs. Helen McCloskey and a staff of seventeen.
The heavy doors of Memorial Hall swing open and the veterans surge in. What follows is not a hopeless struggle between the veterans, who pour through at the rate of several hundred per hour, and the heavily-outnumbered book staff; Mrs. McCloskey said the system works "beautifully."
"The reason I don't need a hundred people to handle the book applications," she said, "is that the vets de exactly as they are supposed to do. They are very good about it. They cooperate wonderfully."
That cooperation, plus a new book application system, explains the smooth rolling of what is perhaps the biggest mass movement of students here, outside of registration.
Until this term, veterans had to fill out applications for books, submit them to the book staff, and wait a day or two to have them typed and approved. Now, as Mrs. McCloskey explained the process, the veterans simply list the books they will need, get approval at a checking desk, and, shortly after their entrance into Mem Hall, are ready to pick up their books in Square shops.
It sounds painless; but on a day like yesterday, opening day for book authorizations, when some 4,000 undergraduate and graduate veterans filed through Mem Hall and converged, authorizations in hands, on the Square, it isn't. During rush hours, the Square stores catering to the G.I. set take on the aspect of the Times Square station at 5 p.m., and perspiring salesmen descend from their stacks in many cases only to tell their perspiring customers that a book is (1) sold out, (2) out-or-print, (3) on order, or (4) just plain, ordinary, everyday unobtainable