When the Harvard Student Union assembles in solemn conclave tonight to debate the proposition of whether to continue its affiliation with the National organization, to which it has been attached since its founding, it will have before it the most important question of policy that is likely to face it this year. For at a time when the Harvard Student Union has completed a successful membership drive in the College, and at a time when the Union promises to bring out the best and most constructive policy of liberal political action of its career, to ally itself again with a national Union, which has little of Harvard's interest at heart, and which has earned the distrust of genuine liberals on the campuses of the nation, would be little short of disastrous.
The experience of the Harvard chapter with the national organization should be enough to convince the leaders of the Union here of the troubles that the nation-wide group has brought to them. One consideration is the financial drain, for out of every dollar that the Harvard Student Union collects from its members in dues, fifty cents must be sent to the national treasury in New York. In return for this consideration the national union supplies the Harvard group with news of its operations, the privilege of having union cards in a nation-wide society, and the responsibility of participating in its wild-eyed schemes, all of which originate far from the scene of action in Cambridge. Last year, for instance, the National Union almost succeeded in allying itself with the politically bankrupt farmer-labor party in the Middle West, and this shot-gun wedding which the national leaders tried to put over on the rest of the member organizations was only averted by the stern and level-headed refusal of the Harvard group to violate its platform pledge given its members which promises not to engage in any partisan political action.
It must be obvious to the new leaders of the Harvard Student Union that to be seduced once again into a national group that robs them, and tries to commit them to political alliances which can only be unpopular on the Harvard Yard, will serve to reduce rather than increase their support and respect from the general student body. For such a promising start to land on the shoals as it is leaving harbor would be a major set-back for the Harvard Student Union's ambitious program for the current academic year.