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LAST night a meeting was held in Lower Holden to discuss the question whether Harvard should withdraw from the Rowing Association of American Colleges. Mr. Weld, President of the H. U. B. C., opened the meeting by saying that it was the unanimous opinion of the Executive Committee that the advice of our delegates to the late convention should be accepted, and that Harvard should withdraw. He gave some of the reasons which led the Committee to form this opinion, and which were mainly those stated by one of the delegates in an article in our last number entitled "Harvard's Position." Mr. Weld then stated that, as he had shown himself prejudiced in regard to the question before the meeting, he would surrender the chair to Mr. Swift, Vice-President of the H. U. B. C.
Mr. Wendell Goodwin, '74, hoped that the matter would be fully discussed before the question was decided. He admitted that the action of the last convention had been childish in the extreme; but he thought that the meeting should consider three points: First, Is it right for Harvard to withdraw? Second, Would it be better for her to withdraw? Third, Would it not be better for the general rowing interests of all the colleges that she should withdraw?
The chair stated, at this point, that Yale had decided to withdraw, and had challenged us to an eight-oared race.
Mr. Wetmore, '75, said that, in his opinion, this meeting should not take definite action, but should express its opinion, and leave the final decision to be made by the Executive Committee, together with a committee of graduates; and this he put in the form of a motion. He explained further that the question was one of too much importance to be decided without having the opinion of graduates of some years' standing, and without consulting their wishes. This met with some opposition from undergraduates, but the idea was supported by Mr. Warren, of '75, who thought, too, that we owed something to the colleges who had beaten us while we were in the association, and that if we withdrew we should offer to row them, after or before any other race in which we might take part.
Mr. Weld thought that by withdrawing we should be in an independent position in which we could accept or decline any challenge we received.
The first part of Mr. Wetmore's motion was then discussed alone, namely, "Resolved, that it is the express desire of this meeting that Harvard should withdraw from the association."
Mr. Roberts, '71, Treasurer of the H. U. B. C., was called to express his opinion, and he said that he had been unable to find any graduate in New York or Boston who was in favor of our withdrawing without a settled policy being marked out for the future. Their opinions might be changed by the arguments which had been presented. When Harvard started the association she considered it a temporary thing. He thought the question should be decided finally by the undergraduates, but that they should have the advice of graduates.
Mr. Ames, '66, agreed with Mr. Roberts, and thought that the meeting should express a decided opinion which should influence, but not bind, the committee to be appointed to take final action. At the close of these remarks the question was put, and the meeting voted that it was in favor of withdrawing. Total number of votes, 80, - Yeas, 52; Noes, 28.
The second part of the original motion was now taken up. Mr. Warren moved that Mr. Fenno, '64, Mr. Ames, '66, and Mr. Roberts, '71, should be appointed a committee to confer with the Executive Committee, and that they should together decide whether delegates should be sent to represent Harvard at the Convention that meets in New York, January 4, or whether an announcement should be sent that Harvard has withdrawn. This motion was unanimously carried, and the meeting adjourned.
With this joint committee, therefore, rests the final decision of this important question, and we are confident that the committee will be influenced by no uneasy desire for a change, but will decide according to the best interests of Harvard. The meeting last night from beginning to end showed a strong desire to adopt whatever course was most honorable for the College, and the discussion was carried on in a frank and generous manner.
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