In May, 1908, the Student Council was organized with a constitution, one portion of which reads as follows: "(3) Each year at the final meeting of the Council a nominating committee of three, including the chairman, shall be appointed by the president; this committee shall publish on the first Monday after the opening of College in the following autumn a list of nominations for the delegates at large from each of the three upper classes (not more than six from a class to be nominated) . . . (4) Each class shall elect two delegates on or before the second Monday after the opening of College. (5) Within forty-eight hours after the election of the above delegates the temporary chairman shall convene the Council, at which meeting the annual election of officers shall take place. Also at this meeting the three representatives of the College at large shall be eligible to membership."
Several half-hearted attempts were made this year to fulfill the above provisions, but it was found impossible to obtain a quorum and nothing was done. The result is that pure inertia and a fine disregard of duty on the part of the representative men making up the Council prevented the body from perpetuating itself, and, under its constitution, it has ceased to exist.
That the Council's end should have come in just this way is indeed regrettable, but that the body as it was constituted should have dissolved is probably a good thing.
The history of the Council has been an unbroken record of inactivity and wasted opportunities. Starting with a wonderful chance to become of prime usefulness to the College, its energy, never very great, gradually decreased. The languid dissolution last week was the logical result.
The weak link in the chain was not the Council per se, but its composition. The members were the "most prominent men in College," meaning that they already had their hands so full of work that they could not spare the time and thought that membership in the Council should involve. Their offense is palliated by the fact that it was the inevitable consequence of the system in vogue here of concentrating the entire student administrative work of the College on too few shoulders.
It is an open question whether or not a Student Council can be made an effective body here at Harvard. The CRIMSON believes that it can. Leaving this question aside for the present, however, the situation at hand apparently demands a formal resignation of the erstwhile members of the Council. When this is done, it will then be up to the College, if it seen fit, to organize a new Council under a new constitution. Just what this should contain is a matter to be determined in the future. Until the present corpse is formally interred, it seems hardly dignified to make plans for its successor.