Code for Campaigners
The Presidential campaign is making Cambridge much too hot for Indian Summer. With the increasing tempo of battle, new dangers begin to face the ardent politician with no rules to guide him. Last Spring a "Save the Peace" group found itself in trouble twice because it was not sure of University Hall policy. And as activity heightens between now and November 2, more than one stumper may not know until too late that he has waved his flag out of political bounds or that his slogans have plastered the wrong wall.
Both University Hall and the Student Council recognize that this situation is inflammable, that there may be heated charges of discrimination if, for instance, a University policeman tells a soapbox speaker to move on. Therefore the Deans and Councilmen are meeting to fix a set of interim instructions.
This temporary code might be called Harvard's Hatch Act, and like any law, it should first of all be detailed and specific. It is not enough to state that location of rallies will be fixed by the Dean's Office. Students must know exactly what streets, what steps, what squares they may invade. Just as the ban on Yard against sound trucks at Stillman should be patently clear. And if the Dean's Office is going to say "Stop" and "Go" to College publications, it should broadcast the whys and wherefores ahead of time. Last term there were charges of political prejudice and other angry words when University Hall invoked certain unfamiliar rules against the New Student magazine, which was already set up in type.
However precise, these rules should not hinder the noise and color that help a man advertise his thoughts. If a man wants to speak his piece with the aid of a brass band at some reasonable spot at a reasonable hour, regulations should not stop him. The Deans need have no fear that the florid oratory of an undergraduate can ever injure Harvard's name.
So let us have some rules that are exact but not onerous, and let us have them before the campaign gets much hotter. If this fall's experience finds them inadequate, they can be revised later, but at least they will furnish the College campaigner with a political road map speed limits.