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The UC and Shad Hall

In The Mail


To the Editors of The Crimson:

A few months ago, the Harvard Business School opened its new marble gymnasium, Shad Hall. I've heard wonderful tales of its aesthetic splendor and bounteous athletic offerings, but I've never gotten past the front door. You see, while Harvard Business School students may freely enter the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC), Harvard undergraduates are denied access to Business School athletic facilities.

We college students can use the Law School's pint-size, dilapidated gym for no charge, but the Business School's spacious, modern facility is strictly off-limits. I guess doddering B-School deans feel we're too immature to play squash with tomorrow's inside traders.

Despite the Business School's negative estimations of undergraduates, we have no reason to fear. Fortunately, our august representative body, the Undergraduate Council (UC), has decided to fight for our athletic needs.

You might remember your UC representative, but maybe not by name. Let me refresh your memory: Your UC representative is the overzealous, overconfident individual who made vague promises concerning better food and big parties, yet our bellies still suffer from broccoli-cheese casserole and the better parties are nowhere to be seen.

Now, once again, our "popularly elected" UC has abandoned the strategic moral highground and is launching its assault from the quicksand of incompetence.

Our representatives claim to have found the ideal solution to the Shad Hall problem. Instead of challenging the Business School's unethical, exclusive conduct, the UC wants to negotiate a "deal"; their proposal would allow undergraduates to use Shad Hall for a $65 fee. In short, our UC wants us to pay for something that we give free to Business School students and receive free from the Law School.

Even if I were allowed to use Shad Hall for no charge, I probably wouldn't; why go all the way to the Business School to play basketball against middle-aged men in three-piece sweatsuits when I can find a much more competitive game at the MAC? Although the Shad Hall extortion bothers me, I believe it's just one small fish in an enormous sea.

Aquatically speaking, in fact, a shad is a small food fish of the herring family. Herring smells awful. Likewise, the UC's "deal" reeks of poor judgement. Why should I have to pay $65 to use Shad Hall?

I think I've finally discovered what the UC is all about. These same misfits whose actions we generally indulge or ignore (and occasionally ridicule) aren't the harmless nuisances we've always thought they were; indeed, they're craftier than Bob Vila. Our representatives aren't whimpering dolts, they're wily entrepreneurs. A $65 fee for access to Shad Hall may not affect a lot of students, but soon, for a hefty percentage of the take, perhaps the UC will start selling off other "free" student services. Next time you're at the MAC waiting to use the overcrowded athletic facilities, think about paying $20 to use the Business School library or 40 gold pieces to see the rocks at the Geological labs. I, for one, will not sit idly and let my rights be peddled off by misguided representatives.

Undergraduates should not have to pay to use Shad Hall. The UC shouldn't cut any one-sided deals with the Business School; for once, it should adequately represent undergraduate concerns. I implore our representatives to stand up to the Business School and demand fair play. We should not have to pay for a service which we currently offer free of charge to graduate students. Eli Karsh '91

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