At long last the House Masters meet today to consider the recommendations in the Student Council Report published two months ago. It can only be hoped that such tardy action does not indicate rejection of the stop-gap measures which have been advocated. The two major suggestions of the Report--the compulsory admission of Juniors and Seniors to Houses and the Associate Member Plan--seem to be the only practical immediate solutions to the House problem at Harvard. And, as such, they should be accepted by the House Masters.
The objections to these proposals are well known. The more upperclassmen there are who spend only one or two years in the Houses; the harder it is to obtain House spirit. And the presence of associate members will further weaken the bonds uniting regular members. That these protests are to some degree valid is quite true. But the only question here is whether these disadvantages outweigh the advantage of extending the benefits of the system to the Out-of-Housers. Is it fair to make some three hundred men go without the privileges the rest of the college enjoys for the sake of an abstract principle?
The answer to this must be obvious. Harvard cannot afford to have an underprivileged, discontented group in her midst. Those, so callous as to disregard the feelings of the group itself, should consider the harm such a condition does to a unity more important than that existing in the different Houses. For the House problem at present is a serious menace to the unity of the college.
Since only the addition of another House can be regarded as a cure-all, the proposals in the Report are by no means perfect solutions. But, until this panacea can be obtained, the House Masters should be urged to adopt these measures to alleviate the present deplorable situation.