When we returned to Bowdoin this fall, we noticed changes around campus and most of them were positive.

However, one change has adversely affected my happiness here at Bowdoin, and, thus, I feel the need to whine about it in this most public of forums.

At least twice a day, I enjoy a meal in one of Bowdoin's fine dining halls.

When faced with the most important question of our generation—which seat shall I take?—I have found that there are fewer adequate seats in Moulton's light room than last year, especially if one wishes to dine alone or in a small group.

The new layout of the tables in the light room of Moulton Dining Hall marks the tragic end of an era.

The former four- to six-seater round and square tables have been replaced with long tables like those at Thorne.

Not since the changing of the pepper shakers has Bowdoin been struck with such an oppressive and direct assault upon one of our great student traditions. Then, it was the pepper flip tradition that the administration attempted to stop.

Here, the administration seeks to add a few extra seats to the light room to help prevent overcrowding. However, the new arrangement does not allow students to rearrange the tables, like we frequently did in the past.

All hyperbole aside, the new table setup is problematic for two reasons.

First, it takes away the main appeal of the light room: it offered a large number of private tables that were ideal for small groups or couples to enjoy a meal.

This quality made the light room, in my opinion, the ideal campus spot for breakfast or lunch and it added to Moulton's unique charm.

Okay, the charm is not quite unique—there are those booths in the dark room. But securing a booth in the dark room requires either luck or patience.

So, the change was not so much about removing options, it was more about removing the convenience of being almost always guaranteed a private table.

The real reason I have such a problem with the new setup is that it does not significantly expand the seating potential of the light room, due in large part to the unwritten rules of the dining halls.

For example, a minimum one-chair gap must exist between myself and any other person dining in privacy if we are both to enjoy our coffee and reply to our morning emails in peace.

Don't believe me? Try sitting next to someone you don't know tomorrow morning in Moulton while they are studying for their organic chemistry quiz.

By their reaction, you will know what I mean.

In addition, the old round (or square) tables allowed one to maximize the number of persons around any single table at any given time, ensuring that five or six people could always enjoy a meal together, sitting around the same table (something that is almost impossible in the new setup).

With this in mind, it is clear that the new setup is incredibly inefficient at expanding the number of people that can comfortably fit in the light room.

Henry Kissinger once said that conflicts at colleges and universities are so fierce precisely because they are so unimportant.

This is, of course, one of those insignificant quarrels that we as Bowdoin students, for some reason, believe affect our day-to-day lives in an important way.

I can't even begin to pretend that this is actually an important issue, but as a senior who misses the old setup, is it too much to ask that we go back to what worked in the past?

I am sure there are logistical issues with the reversion, but, if it's possible, I am certain the student body would greatly appreciate the change.

The 20 or so seats gained in the light room simply are not worth the loss of the individual-table setup.

On this preposterously unimportant issue, I possess a very strong opinion—let's understand the implications of the unwritten rules of Bowdoin dining and revert to the old setup.

If we want to sit at long tables and be certain that we will have a place to sit down immediately, we can just eat at Thorne.

Sean McElroy is a member of the Class of 2012.