There are certain inconsistent features of Harvard's athletic administration which offer room for improvement. Most of these discrepancies have to do with the charges demanded of the student for the privilege of using the athletic equipment. Football games are the chief source of revenue for the H. A. A. and the proceeds are used to help support other forms of athletics. The stadium receipts, however are not used for the entire upkeep of other sports but merely sustain the heaviest losses incurred by crew and other non-paying activities.
The policy of the H. A. A. is not always clear as to the method of apportioning athletic expenses. The general principle is to make no charges save the usual towel and locker fees for group, and team sports while the athletic facilities designed for the individual or pair, must be paid for every time they are used. Tennis, squash and swimming fall under this category but rowing singles, which is surely an individual form of exercise, requires no extra payment.
The situation is not viewed as an abuse which must be remedied but rather as a puzzling and illogical allotment of expenses. As far as total expense is concerned Harvard students are really much more fortunate than those at many other colleges. Yale furnishes uniforms only to the university squad in team athletics, and every student at Princeton is assessed twenty dollars for lockers and use of equipment.
The equalization of the burden of athletic expenses could be brought about by issuing a coupon book similar to the present H. A. A. book but designed solely for the participator. The coupons could pay for lockers towels and the maintenance of athletic equipment. Members of university teams and freshmen taking compulsory exercise would naturally be exempt from the upkeep charges. The price of these coupon books should be moderate so that those men, whose studies and laboratory work allow only intermittent exercise could benefit by the saving incurred in using all the coupons. A system such as this would do much to eliminate the present inequalities in the athletic expense account.