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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

SIXTY PER CENT.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The calloused disinterest shown by the members of the Sophomore and Junior classes towards the elections held yesterday is, of course, utterly deplorable. The men of 1922, as being the greater offenders will naturally come in for the major share of the disgrace. That scarcely one quarter of the Juniors in Harvard College should care enough about class officers, representation on the student council, and the proper administration of the activities of the class to take the trouble of voting will be adjudged by the outer world, or that part of it which follows college affairs, a supremely pertinent manifestation of "Harvard indifference."

Yet it is more than likely that the state of affairs exhibited under the new sixty per cent, ruling is not one with worse than has existed during years when no account was taken of the percentage of votes cast. Last year the Sophomore officers were chosen by so small a portion of the class that the resulting scandal led directly to the passing by the Student Council and the four classes of the new law. The necessity of such a regulation is well demonstrated by yesterday's event; indeed it seems probable that the requirement has been set too high, and that truly less than one third of Harvard College students have any interest whatever in class affairs.

The most surprising feature of the fiasco is that just that group within the class which complains so bitterly and openly of the domination of elections by small cliques of club men and athletes is the chief offender. At the same time inveighing against the "clique" which "controls" them, and refusing to take themselves any share in bettering conditions, they stand in the way of reforms for which they clamor.

There is no doubt that it is often inconvenient for commuting students to cast their ballots. It frequently means five minutes trouble,--time which they may perhaps more pleasantly spend in berating the conditions which give them no hand in the administration of college activities. As it seems conclusively shown, however, that the more active members of the classes never fail to find time to vote, and, being human, invariably vote for their friends, the sole method of getting out of the rut into which college polls have fallen is to continue the present more or less compulsory participation in the elections.

The sixty per cent, law is in action. Voting will resume on Thursday and continue until the requisite number of ballots have been deposited. It now behooves those who last year were zealous in the support of the ruling to prove its worth.

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