Underneath the action of the pseudo "strike breakers" who have been operating switchboards at the Cambridge exchange the past week, lie principles of great importance to the University. Three possible motives may have actuated them; that they would derive amusement from the procedure; that they would be of service in handling emergency calls, or that they believed the strike to be wrong.
If their belief was the first, they were playing with fire, since the problem is too great and too vital to be a basis for "sport." In the second case their action takes away what is at present the only weapon--the strike--with which the employees of the telephone company can obtain redress for wrong or indeed even attention to their requests at Washington. That emergency calls should be handled is desirable, but let the government provide such service without the aid of undergraduates. Of those students who conscientiously believed the strike to be wrong, there can be no criticism.
Beyond the effect on themselves of their acts and beliefs, however, is the effect upon the reputation of the University. Harvard all too often is considered reactionary; too often are we named--and wrongly--a breeding place for capitalism. We need not favor the strike, but it is essential that our individual acts do not prejudice the University in the minds of the public.