Union Now?

The Harvard Teachers Union has offered the University a sheep in wolf's clothing. In its report on "coeducation" in Cambridge it has recommended no social or academic merger with Radcliffe, but a combination of parallel liberal arts courses to preserve for the duration as much of the liberal arts curriculum as possible. But there is a danger that even this mild proposal will be defeated by the aurora of Lifelike coeducationalism that has surrounded it.

There have always been courses in the University in which such a combination would have been desirable; the war is only multiplying the number. The most rapacious draft policy will always leave at Harvard a nucleus of deferred students who can do no better than to prepare for the postwar period by acquiring a liberal education. There will be individual courses in which purely masculine enrollment will not be large enough to warrant the Faculty's time and trouble, in which the only alternative to bracketing will be the admission of Radcliffe students. This is not coeducation; it is simply an extension to middle group courses of a policy of long standing in the University under which graduate classes are open to women as well as to men.

The Union's actual proposal has gone unnecessarily far in advocating that all liberal arts courses be thus merged. University Hall's concentration on molding Harvard's liberal curriculum to conform to the needs of war has left no place for the rumored coeducation. The main purpose of Harvard now is to train men for war. The vast majority of its students in the future will be scientific concentrators, one-year men, or students actually in the Armed Services. Any courses designed to give these men the flavor of a liberal education cannot at the same time conform to Radcliffe's standards. Only the non-draftables can have the opportunity for a true liberal education now, and only by opening middle group courses to Radcliffe can this opportunity exist.