The financial collapse and the consequent reorganization of the Undergraduate Laundry makes it impossible to keep on temporizing any longer with the problem of undergraduate business undertakings. For the sake of a few ventures that have ended in failures due to poor management or other causes, the University cannot afford to let the remaining businesses fall into disrepute and so fail. Nor must the University make it any harder for the man who has to work for a part of his education, so long as it allows students to enter intending to do this.
Three general plans of action by the University suggest themselves. 1. The authorities could forbid all undergraduates from taking part in businesses selling services to students. In place of this, laundries and pressing shops would employ men as solicitors on a straight percentage basis. While there are no exact figures on the total income under the present system, it is estimated that such a change as this would not substantially alter the amount earned. 2. The financial affairs of student businesses could be opened to the inspection of University Hall. A bond, similar to the one required of applicants for admission, would assure financial responsibility in this case. 3. Similar to the second plan, but still more paternalistic is Yale's system of "agencies," their answer to the same question. All undergraduate enterprises are granted provisional permits to solicit in the college buildings, and if after a probationary term it is successful, a monopoly of soliciting is granted.
Beside correcting such evils as irregularity of service and irregularities in paying the creditors of the organizations, any report should make it impossible for one group to break the rules to the detriment of their competitors. This is the time for strong action to assure a permanent and equitable solution to the problem.