"Let us reduce the cost of living," has been the slogan of one generation after another. In 1882 the College generation of the day organized the Harvard Co-operative Society to fulfill the slogan. Just what reduction it has secured it is hard to say, for that elusive phantom, the cost of living, has risen beyond our vision on the hot words that have so in-effectually attacked it. But if we may judge by the business done with those who do not expect dividends and from the dividends paid those who do, we are tempted to say that the Co-operative has at least equaled the lowest prices of other establishments.
There are, however, certain ends towards which the Society has striven with success that can be more or less accurately measured. Year by year it has become more and more the satisfactory servant of Harvard students, as shown by its steadily increasing membership and volume of business. It has assumed all the aspect of a big business without losing effectiveness in its co-operative capacity. It has become as large, as all other college co-operatives together, at the same time serving as their model. And if the new office of Managing Director, filled by a man taken directly from the Business School, not the business world, proves its value, the Co-operative will, in addition to these other things, offer one more bit of evidence against the Edward Bok school of cynics.
The success of the Harvard Co-operative Society is, unique in the history of co-operative methods in this country and to continue the Society must have the continued support of Harvard men.