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To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
The word "indifference" has become symbolic of Harvard, in fact, so much so, that Harvard men have come to pride themselves on their indifference. This indifference is the outgrowth of several things,--tradition, Eastern conservatism, and the ever increasing pressure of modern life. Freshmen come to Harvard full of pep, and ready for anything and everything, but within a few months the enthusiasm of these same Freshmen has been replaced by the arched eyebrow, and the indifferent look.
Indifference is bad in its very essence. It is allied with futility,--a feeling of futility makes us indifferent, and indifference itself makes for futility. When one is indifferent toward social problems, and toward the activities and interests of others, the result is one shows his difference on self, and too much difference on self makes for selfishness, because it inflates the ego.
A man who had come in contact with a good many student bodies once remarked to me, "I have never seen a student body so indifferent, so individualistic as that of Harvard." His reference to selfishness was in regard to the students view of the comparative importance of personal interests over those of society. Personal selfishness may make good money-makers, but also makes poor citizens.
The men who have made Harvard famous have shown real difference, not indifference, to the interests and problems of others. Of course, it is possible to show too much difference, as well as too much indifference, but Harvard need not fear the former, at least not at present.
The uprooting of the indifferent attitude at Harvard would stimulate scholarship, and bring about increased participation in activities. How can we get rid of Harvard indifference,--only by changing the psychological atmosphere which surrounds the University. This means firing instructors who are so bored by teaching the students they themselves make the students bored, it means the organization of councils where students may have a chance to express their differences, and it means the placing of emphasis toward the fraternizing of Harvard men.
Happy will be the day when Harvard indifference becomes another lost tradition! Kenneth L. Myers '34.