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A Fifth for Commuters

For a long time, the Commuters have felt like a sore appendix to Lamont's gigantic circulation system. Now, they say, the time for the appendectomy is at hand. Their arguments are simple. Most of them don't want to wait around until nine o'clock to take out books. For those who live relatively far away, and most of them do, riding the trolleys back to Harvard by nine is an equal nuisance. So they have asked Lamont's directors to let them take out one fifth of the supply of every book on closed reserve at five in the afternoon, except during reading and exam periods.

Lamont's first reaction was a flat no. The directors argued that if Commuters don't like waiting until nine, they can do their work in the library during the afternoon. Besides, the directors said, the scheme would involve a reassessment of books, a costly procedure.

The Commuters then petitioned the Student Council which upheld their claims pending an informal poll of the Houses to test resident reaction. To Lamont's objections, the Council retorted that Commuters should not have to study in the afternoon, particularly at the expense of athletics. Moreover, the Council observed that some people don't like to work in Lamont.

Negotiations have now reached a deadlock, with all the aces on the table. The Council's poll found that resident students don't begrudge a small violation of the equality principle. Although Lamont is softening, the old arguments are bound to appear next fall. The Council's vote of approval is needed to boost it now.

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If Lamont waves the white flag, it will be another victory for the Commuters in the long-range struggle to rid themselves of a second-class student standing. Their demands are fair; the ratio of books they propose to take out is in ratio with their number. Since resident students have informally approved the Commuters' demands, the last obstruction, short of Lamont officialdom, has been razed.

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