Open and Shut
Far from acquiescing to last spring's angry squeals about the nightly barring of the Wiggles-worth east gate, College officials have reacted with unprecedented violence, and slammed the portal shut once and for all. Nowadays, it is a common sight to see pale Freshmen pressing their noses between the shiny black bars, their eyes all agoggle at the lush greenery of the yard within. Many is the discouraged student who finally recrosses Massachusetts Avenue, to wile away the hours in Felix's, and later is found run over behind. Widener with a copy of the Daily worker in his already cold hand. True, a few shrewder individuals have been able to crash through to the inner regions, but it has only been after untold waiting and hair-breadth escapes from the rock-laden trucks that tear through Widener Gate to dump their loads elsewhere and race back to mash more book-carrying, hurrying, seersuckered miserables.
The men whose sensitivities make him avoid the older wafting out of the Bick has to take the Eastern Passage, and that must mean the Widener Gate. Nowadays the Gate is a fearsome place. It is flanked by two constables, who stare suspiciously at the entering man and his books, and coldly finger their revolvers. And on the right the inviting gate remans barred.
It thus becomes fairly obvious that the situation should be remedied, but there are also reasons for maintaining the status quo. One is that any student walking through an open Wigglesworth Gate would immediately fall into the half-mile-deep pit on the other side. But there is another, far more important reason. The closed gate suddenly brings the hard facts of life and reality to the sheltered Harvard man. Faced with an unequivocal "No," he tries the next passage, and there he sees stark, unyielding rocks, and gets dust, from which he has always been hermetically sealed, in his eyes. On his right are men sweating and sometimes even cursing, and as he sits in Emerson A, perhaps the philosophy takes on new significance. Yes, a closed gate can sometimes mean an open mind, and that's a good thing.