Sanders Theater has caused nothing but trouble in the past two years. Two active dramatic clubs, a rejuvenated band, two orchestras, and the Glee Club-Choral Society have wrangled for space in the ancient auditorium, while Dean Watson and the Corporation office have split the handling of the conflicting requests.
The results of this confusion have been bad for all concerned. Students, caught up in inter-office red tape, have failed to follow proper procedures and have wound up without Sanders on some nights when they needed it; the Dean's office has been accused of everything from favoritism to total incompetence by disgruntled undergraduates.
Since Sanders is University, not College, property, authorization for its use must come from the Corporation office. All schools except the College file such applications through their Dean's offices. Dean Watson has set up a system whereby students must get tentative approval from him first and then go to Massachusetts Hall for final space allotment. This plan, actually established to speed up the process, has caused most of the difficulties; for students who do not carry through correctly often find that by the time they get straightened out Sanders has been assigned to some other organization.
Complaints that Sanders is let to outside groups on nights when students want it can be traced to this two-way ruling. Last spring when the HTW failed to complete its application for Sanders, they found that the Corporation Office had allotted one of the nights they wanted, apparently open, to a University sponsored Rotary meeting. The only group outside the University to get Sanders space is the Massachusetts Medical Association, which uses the theater just six hours a week in the spring for its refresher lectures.
There is no final answer to the space problem as long as Sanders is the only decently large auditorium available to students. But the process of signing up for rehearsal and performance time can be simplified enough so that the agents for College groups won't get lost before they finish applying. Dean Watson's office should treat the Sanders problem the way other Deans do it: Take the applications and file them with Massachusetts Hall itself, eliminating the extra step by students.
The situation at Sanders is intrinsically bad--there is enough activity to utilize two modern, fully-equipped auditoriums--by this one step the Dean's office can make a space application a reasonably clear-cut procedure.