(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters but under special conditions, at the request of the writer, names will be withheld.)
To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
In the editorial "Phi Beta Kappa Selections", you mention "the failure of many Phi Beta Kappa men elected on the basis of course grades, to attain more than a general or special cum at graduation." Failure to attain (if you really want to go so far as to call it all that) a special cum may indicate either incompetence on the part of the Phi Beta Kappa man, or a sudden fatigue of academic honors. There is, however, no failure at all about obtaining a general cum, that implying rather a complete unwillingness to be tutored and specialized to the extent that honors demand, than any incompetence.
The policy of the University is of course tending more and more towards the recognition of distinctive work in special fields; in fact, that is why the number of men admitted to Phi Beta Kappa has been increased; and this conceivably explains how the realization escaped the CRIMSON that many men who might have boned out a magna were simply conscientious objectors to the whole theory behind it.
Summa Summarum, though a man may know Shakespeare note by note, and can get a summa for it, why must he be inflicted on Phi Beta Kappa--the organization is notoriously weak as it is.
(The name of the author of this letter, who is himself a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, is withheld by request.)