For the first time in five years a campaign to sell subscriptions to a Radcliffe literary magazine will not enliven fall registration at the Annex. Radcliffe's last undergraduate literary magazine, Signature, collapsed with a final issue put out by the Student Government last May following the college's discovery that the magazine's staff had incurred debts of about $500.
The prospects of a new magazine are not good. Since 1945, when Pre-Tem, a literary supplement to the Radcliffe News, became independent, Pre-Tem, and Radditudes, later known as Signature, have appeared. With the memory of the $500 paid out of Student Government dues to meet Signature's debts, only four months old, the Student Government is not likely to charter a new magazine without long debate.
"Radcliffe magazines have never been able to gain adequate financial backing," a Radcliffe official complained yesterday. One difficulty to that there are no rich Radcliffe alumnae, corresponding to these who assist Harvard periodicals, who are willing to give money to a magazine, rather than directly to the college. Another trouble is that no Radcliffe magazine has built up enough prestige to attract the undergraduate manuscripts offered to the New Yorker and other professional periodicals.
Although most persons who studied the collapse of Signature realize that compulsory subscriptions are not popular, they believe this is the only way to act up a magazine on a sound financial basis at Radcliffe. They suggest two methods: a magazine might be associated with the Radcliffe News, already supported by compulsory subscriptions, or the publication might be financed by separate compulsory dues.
Four Bits Each
Last spring Joan Braverman '50, ex-president of Radcliffe Student Government, estimated that 50 cents of each student's dues to the Government would be taken to pay the Signature debt. As this debt was incurred during two years, the cost per year per person must be about 25 cents after revenue from advertising is deducted.