After two or three years of controversy, communications, and editorials, the true opinion of undergraduates concerning the Harvard Union will be expressed, it is hoped, in the vote cast, today and tomorrow. The result of this vote should be a final and conclusive proof to the Corporation that the College recognizes the great worth and unquestioned utility of the Union.
Men who live in dormitories during their college year forget the large number of undergraduates living outside of Cambridge who use the Union continually. For such men the reading room and library afford attractive places in which to study between recitations, and the dining room is a great convenience for them at noon. The advantages of the library and periodical room, which are unparalleled elsewhere in the University, are well known to everyone. A few have suggested the possibility of transferring the books and papers to the Widener Reading Room. Instead of an accessible library and informal surroundings, we should then be forced to obtain these popular books through the tedious machinery of the college library and to read the London Times beside a man studying the economic conditions in Germany.
The men who use the Union only occasionally forget the number of class banquets, smokers, lectures, and mass meetings that are held during the year in the large living room. The desirability of holding all large gatherings of any sort in the Union has been recognized for so long that a man never considers the value of the Union at the time he attends one of these functions, but instinctively regards it as the logical place to hold such a meeting. Should the Union suddenly disappear and no substitute be put in its place, a month would hardly pass before every man in College would feel the absence of a general rendezvous and realize the importance of the Union as an undergraduate institution.
A special report explaining the main points of the issue has been drawn up by a representative committee of Union members. Although some have asserted that this committee was composed of men prejudiced in favor of compulsory membership, this statement is erroneous. After careful investigation and thought, this report was made in order to put the question fairly before the undergraduates. Many, perhaps, feel hazy as regards the true condition of the Union. Before these men vote, let them glance over this report, which will be on every voting table, and then, after careful consideration, make their decision.
Only a man who fails to comprehend what the abolishment of such an institution would mean will cast his vote against compulsory membership and the establishing of the Harvard Union on a firm financial basis.