Students Criticize Shallow Partitions in Circular Trays

Groplus: Probably First of Their Kind

The next time the gravy on your circular tray wanders into the lettuce, you can blame Gropius. Walter Gropius professor of Architecture, helped to design the trays last year as the finishing touch to his Graduate Center.

William A. Heaman, manager of the Dining Halls, admitted yesterday that the size of the separating partitions on the new trays had caused many complaints. Students have praised the efficient designing of the new product but have added that this one tragic flaw prevents the trays from being a complete success.

It would cost over $2,000 to make a now mold with higher partitions, Heaman said. At present there are 500 circular trays in the Houses and 250 at the Union while the University studies the undergraduates' reaction to the product.

Over the summer the adminstration will decide whether to replace the remaining army mess trays with the circular ones.

In the "Modern Spirit"

According to Gropius, these trays are probably the first of their kind manufactured anywhere. Like the World Tree and the special murals, the trays were created to keep in he "modern spirit" of the Graduate Center.

Memories of pre-war days influenced the design of the circular trays, Heaman reported. During that period students ate off plates and were served by waitresses. The high cost of labor and food makes a return to those days impossible.

But Heaman hailed the new trays as "coming nearer to china" than the present plastic ones or the metal ones that were used right after the war. He defended the shallowness of the trays saying that regular china also lacked depth.

Conceding that there had been much discussion over the height of the partitions, he noted that the verdict was that a deeper circular tray would be "more difficult to eat from."

Gropius Made Decision

"The final decision rested with Architects Collaborative," Heaman said, "and Gropius approved the design."

If the circular trays gain a monopoly position in the Houses and at the Union, Heaman plans to serve "liquid items" like steward tomatoes in separate dishes just as ice cream is today. He agreed, however, that this would not stop the problem of overflowing gravy.

The sand color of the new trays was praised by Heaman for bringing out the natural color of the food and making it more appetizing than the brown-colored old ones did.