Challenge to '53
At long last democracy of a sort has come to Quincy street. This year's Union Committee will be the first composed of men elected by the freshmen themselves, voting under a system put into effect by the newly approved Union Constitution. While incoming classes in the past have been served by a group appointed by the Dean's office in cooperation with Yard proctors, this fall each proctorial unit will elect its own representative. This group will in turn elect ten officers who are to act as a cabinet; officers and committeemen, with the advice of the Secretary of the Union and the Chairman of the Student Council Committee on Freshman Affairs, direct and integrate class activities.
This constitution is the result of three years of work by the Council and Dean Leighton. During that time there was continual opposition to representative government on he Yard; the weak articles in the charter were pointed out by proctors, students, and Council members. Although the Council revised the present documents several times, there is no doubt flaws exist and that the provision for amendment will come in handy after this test run.
Much of the responsibility for the constitution's success rests on freshmen proctors. In the four weeks allowed for pre-election get-acquainted meetings in Yard entries, they must introduce an average of 70 men to the system and to each other, then run the election. They have already agreed on method, among themselves, but the presence of many proctors appointed this year and the charter's newness will make success harder to attain.
In the long run, however, the success of this year's Union Committee depends on the Class of '53. Its members must do the electing, and those elected will find serving a full-time job. Committeemen become leaders and gain useful experience for their labor, but they may be voted out of office if they miss meetings or go on probation, and they cannot campaign for other class offices.
Under the now Constitution, the Union Committee should receive more support from freshmen for all projects than in previous years. And since it can collect voluntary dues from the class if necessary, it may succeed in doing more for first year men in the way of activities than was possible in he past. But more than this, a successful Union Committee election would help show that the representative system can itself be successful.