The probability that all men graduating with Magna cum Laude degrees will henceforth automatically receive Phi Beta Kappa keys was greatly increased last night, when, at the annual meeting of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, it was unanimously voted to form a committee to investigate the advantages of such a change.
In addition to this move, the members approved the new constitution by which the two undergraduate marshals will be reduced to one, and a recording secretary will take the place of the second Marshal. Accordingly, for the remainder of this year, K. W. McMahan '33 will act as the sole undergraduate Marshal, while Richard Inglis, Jr. '33 will serve as Recording Secretary.
A petition signed by McMahan, Inglis, W. A. Huppuch '33, and A. E. Taylor '33 prompted the vote to form the committee mentioned above, which will consider reducing the number of Seniors elected in the fall from 32 to 22, as well as the Magna cum Laude question.
The text of the petition follows in full:
To the President of the Phi Beta Kappa:
In view of the changes that have been made in the College and the consequent shift of emphasis to the final honors which a man attains, the undergraduate members of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa make the following recommendations as regards the election of members:
1. That all men who receive the degree Magna cum Laude become thereby eligible to membership, and that the numerical limitation be removed.
2. That the number of Seniors elected in November be reduced from 32 to 22 (or even less) in order, as nearly as possible, to eliminate those men elected in November under the present system, who do not finish with high distinction.