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En`light'enment at Harvard



To the Editors of The Crimson:

Let's say you're starting the semester. You've gotten over the big hurdles: you've sent the check, picked your classes, gotten your syllabi, bought your books and attended the first lectures. Now all that remains is to get into your reading. You eagerly go to one to one of the numerous libraries, find a seat and take out one of your books. Nothing can stand in your way. Right? Wrong. Take a look at your book. You're squinting, aren't you? By the time you're past the first few paragraphs your eyes are really straining. No problem, you think, you'll just move to one of those new lamps they've installed....Uh-oh, somebody's already using it. You try the next....Soon you are back at your seat with the medieval-strength, four-candlepower lighting.

True to its fashoin, the administration has recognized the problem of poor lighting, but has far from solved anything. Some libraries, such as Hilles and Cabot, now have desk lamps, but far too few to accommodate students during peak hours and exam periods. Students are left to choose among many poor options: upgrade their lenses a notch and squint uncomfortably, go back to their rooms and read while they have a pizza and conversation with their roommates, regiment themsleves on taxi driver hours to find well-lit and quiet places to study (don't laugh, many students do precisely this) or blow it all off and wing the exam (this is a popular choice, too). It's a shame that something so trivial as lighting should at all stand in the way of education here at Harvard. Come on librarians, Mr. FAS (whoever you are), Derek Bok or whoever else, let's find an economical way to provide better lighting. Jeffrey R. Stern '90

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