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To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
During the past few weeks, the Corporation has taken a step which should not rest without protest. Permission was asked that Mrs. Pankhurst, the English suffragist, be allowed the use of a Harvard building in which to deliver an address. A week before, when the Corporation had been petitioned for the use of a hall in which to hold a series of lectures on "The Progressive Movement", the hall was granted only on condition that the public be excluded. The ground taken was that a University building is not the proper place for public political agitation; but that, if only members of the University be present, the students might conduct any agitation, hearing whomsoever they please on any topic. This is unexceptionable.
Then the Corporation voted not to allow the use of a hall to Mrs. Pankhurst. Since the public was not to be admitted, the Corporation could have no objection to Mrs. Pankhurst's subject-matter. It did object to her sex; the reason being that this is a men's college, and that women should not ordinarily be allowed to speak here.
This view is almost mediaeval. Women have lectured here in former years; and one, Mrs. Florence Kelley, spoke in the New Lecture Hall last month. If a woman has ability, why shut her out because she is not a man? Why should not Harvard students be permitted to listen to any man or woman whose words are worth while? If he or she is not worth hearing, it is very certain there will be no audience.
I do not attach any particular importance to this incident; but I do consider it a little out of keeping with Harvard's broad and tolerant policy. W. T. FISHER '13
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