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Over across the campus the Corporation is erecting an annex to White Hall, which is to be known as Berkeley Hall, and as a dormitory for needy students. This has been officially announced. This way of dispensing charity is most unfortunate. It is right that the man with a large allowance should have a better room if he wishes it than the man who is working his way through college. But it is not good for Yale to sanction by official action such an undemocratic way of adjusting things. On one side of the campus is the half million dollar Vanderbilt Hall, which will be filled by men with generous incomes; on the other side is Berkeley Hall, a dormitory for needy students. This is not a pleasant contrast to think over. Just at this time when the destruction of the old Brick Row seriously threatens the social conditions at Yale, anything would be wiser than to draw, in unmistakable language, a line of separation between Yale students, based on their financial condition.
A poor man who resolves to fight for an education generally has more pride and independence in his make up than the average. He shows by coming to work his way that he is a man, and a lack of spirit shows a lack of true manliness. Every man ought to feel that he is just as good as every other man on this green earth. To put a man, at Yale above all places, into a dormitory which is publicly advertised as for poverty stricken students is to gall his spirit and shame himself in his own eyes with a sense of inferiority. Not even a Corporation decree can make such charity very attractive.
It would seem to have been far wiser to set aside a certain number of rooms in all of the dormitories which would be given wholly or partly rent free to deserving men, and the fund used for building Berkeley Hall could have made good to the college treasury the rent of these rooms. No one excepting the student and the Faculty would know of the arrangement, and the man would not feel that all eyes saw his dependency on Yale charity for the roof over his head. He would have the chance of knowing his classmates regardless of their wealth, and would have a better opportunity to show what was in him than in the obscurity of a poor man's hall. There will be in the Yale of the future, we trust, dormitories enough for all, not on any graded income plan, but more nearly uniform in price than at present, where no class of men can be separated from another lot of men on the ground of any social distinctions. There will be enough of that in the world outside the campus.
A slim, young girl, in lilac quaintly dressed;
Hangs from her arm by wide, white strings, the crown
Just uttered, while the gay, gray eyes half frown
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1008 Chapel Street.
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