Professor Bliss Perry's excellent speech on "The Honor System" at the CRIMSON dinner on Wednesday evening must have convinced those who were fortunate enough to have heard him that the honor system is a matter which must, in the immediate future, come before the undergraduate body for most serious consideration.
Few there are who will not admit that the honor System is a moral advance on the present method of proctor supervision. The reason that it has not been universally adopted is because many consider it too Utopian an advance, too impracticable for the present state of undergraduate morals; it is, say its opponents, a system which puts too much strain on the student; the average man is not yet fit to bear the responsibility. Still, they admit its value in theory. Therefore, being, as it is, an advance on an ancient and artificial scheme to prevent cheating, it should immediately recommend itself to the less conservative and more progressive elements at Harvard.
To predict the outcome of an undergraduate vote on whether or not the honor system should be initiated here, of course presents many difficulties, but one sentence from Professor, Perry's address is significant. It was his opinion that the "overwhelming majority of the undergraduates of Harvard would respond instantly to any move such as the introduction of the honor system; for if it is presented fairly, men of all social classes will respond to it." Professor Perry Speaks with complete knowledge of the way in which the system was received at Princeton. So to speak, his is the opinion of the specialist. And in this case, were the specialist to prescribe, he would emphatically favor the institution of the honor system. Therefore, expert advice at once eliminates the only objection to its initiation; the only objection to its initiation; namely, that being a radical change, and one weighing heavily on the individual, it would not meet the universal approval absolutely necessary for its success. Professor Perry's words change the honor system from a remote possibility to an immediate issue. The Student Council could make few moves more certain of laying for itself a firm foundation of undergraduate esteem than in recommending the adoption of the honor system at Harvard.