"Some will, some won't; some do, some don't" sums up Radcliffe undergraduates' opinion of Harvard men as dates, a recent survey covering 600 girls from all classes revealed.
Harvard men really have a monopoly on Radcliffe time, since 90 percent of the average 'Cliffedweller's three to five dates per week are with her academic counterparts. Although she goes out with Tech men but five percent of the time, they rate second highest.
Traditional Annex song phrases, "We're mad about Yale" and "We really go for Yale" are misleading. Only two percent of Radcliffe girls go to New Haven for weekends during the college year, and even they do not go often. Other out-of-town schools can claim almost no 'Cliffe support. "Give me Harvard," said one girl, "they're available at no expense."
In spite of overwhelming Radcliffe approval of Harvard men, fewer than 10 percent "go steady" with them or anyone else. "I don't approve of that term," said a representative 'Cliffe sophomore. "It sounds childish." A sixth of the Annex population, nevertheless, has gone steady at some time during the past year, although one box on the questionnaire, marking two or more "steadies" in that time span, remained unchecked in all but one case.
There is no "Harvard type," 'Cliffedwellers overwhelmingly agreed, or, as one girl said, "I can't picture the 'typical Harvardian,' but none of my dates are common, average, or normal." Harvard provides me with interesting case studies," declared a Social Relations major. "The fellows are all so different. If they share any trait, it is satisfaction with themselves."
Radcliffe approves of Harvard brains, even considering them socially acceptable. "Dates are more fun if the fellow is slightly more than a complete moron," said a freshman, "and in this respect, Crimson men fulfill requirements."
Response to the question, "Are Harvard dates 'swift'?" was split quite evenly between replies such as, "I don't like to be handled on dates," and "A few work too fast, but an awful lot need lessons." "Harvard men are pseudo-sophisticated. A proper knowledge of what not to do with their hands would be appreciated," one mistreated 'Cliffedweller remarked.
"My dates are wonderful, that is, entertaining," stated a junior, who was echoed by three quarters of her fellows. Almost no one found Crimson men boring, although one disillusioned freshman remarked, "Not up to reputation." Another girl in the Class of '53 found Harvard better than she had expected, and set down an amazed, "Some are quite nice--even human."
Spirit is another quality Radcliffe girls admire in their dates, and find in satisfactory quantity at Harvard. "They have that certain something," declared an experienced senior, while many others commented on Crimson individuality and comph. A disagreeing young lady sadly wrote, "Harvard dates are docile, and it's too bad--I like the caveman type."
Many cynical or just practical 'Cliffedwellers checked the box on the poll marked, "Best Available." "I've done better--also worse," said a freshman, while another added, "Nothing around here has more to offer than Harvard, but for all the intelligence we know the fellows have, they often don't have the common sense to know how to use it."
Harvard is not a community of tightwads in most 'Cliffedwellers' eyes. Generosity was strongly praised, and when "he hasn't much to spend, but he spends it nicely--on me," the girl feels happy anyhow. Although few stated that Crimson men were stingy, they did not strongly criticize this trait. "I'd hesitate to spend my money on a Radcliffe girl, too, if I were a boy," declared one analytical sophomore.
Radcliffe girls admire their own taste in choosing dates from the multitude of Harvard personalities immediately available. "They are entertaining and intelligent, but of course these remarks pertain only to those that I would go out with," said one junior. "There are others, and brother, I wouldn't be caught dead with them." Another girl remarked, "It all lies in careful selection," while a third added, "There's a different one for every mood."
"I don't know too many unpleasant Harvard men," remarked a freshman adding cautiously, "but the worst don't date, thank heavens."
An Annex sophomore who visits Yale once a month sums up Harvard men as: "nice. After all, they are not in any way outstanding, except maybe super-intelligent. But who wants intelligence without 'savoir faire,' and this a Harvard man hasn't got."
Lack of polish, in fact, is Radcliffe's overall criticism of Crimson men as dates. "The Harvard undergraduate tends to be clean-cut and immature," stated a junior. "They're so crude," sighed another 'Cliffedweller, "but better than MIT," added a third.