That a few men should have elected to break away from their dormitory affiliations and set up a crew of their own is evidence of a certain petty exclusiveness which crops up every once in a while in some branch of undergraduate activity. Surely there was nothing morally wrong about the incident at the boathouse, nor does it in itself deserve the recognition that its discussion necessitates. Athletics are, in their very nature an influence for democracy in the University, and for that very reason the cropping up of the suggestion of a clique there was unexpected. Harvard College is a democratic community in the mass of its social customs and traditions. Nothing proves this better than the prompt objection to the case in question by the University crew management.
In unimportant matters, however, to which it is hard to point directly, cases of petty exclusiveness arise which give the University the name of being far less democratic than it really is. Just as the strength of a chain is measured by its weakest link, so Harvard democracy is measured by its greatest snob. If the offenders would only take the trouble to look about, they would have little difficulty in finding many people and things connected with the College community as a whole which they might well be proud, instead of too proud, to associate with. The more thoroughly all smallness of spirit is blotted out in a given generation at Harvard, the greater will be its unity and the effectiveness of its combined action.