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To the editors:
In the March 15 editorial imaginatively entitled “Whining About Dining,” Stephen W. Stromberg and Jenifer L. Steinhardt spent a good half page complaining about those who spend their time complaining about how restrictive and unfair they deem Adams dining hall policies to be. Given the amount of news print I have taken up recently as Mather House secretary of war, I am in no position to comment on the use of the fourth estate for less than substantial purposes. I am, however, in a position to comment on their assertion that, “If Mather House had to serve a third of its meals to first-years, you can bet that Hunter A. Maats ’04 would be declaring war on the Yard.” You could bet that, but it would be like betting on University President Lawrence H. Summers writing a kiss and tell about the cozy time he spent with Bill Clinton in the oval office.
The suggestion that I, or any other member of the war council, have publicly complained about Adams dining hall policies is frankly preposterous. Mather entered the war because we wanted to help ensure the safe return of the Adams House gong which has been traditionally used to shame those who are not members of that House’s community into dining elsewhere. Although my major concern with the gong was as a cultural symbol which has helped pull the Adams House community through so many difficult times, that does not mean that I was insensible to its significance as an othering device. I respect Adams’ right to exclude and make up its community as it pleases, even though personally that sort of behaviour is not for me. As far as I’m concerned, I would love to hear our concrete halls echo with the pitter patter of little froshers, and the class of ’07 should feel free to stop by anytime. Our grill will be flaming ready.
HUNTER A. MAATS ’04
March 18, 2004
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