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A DIRE SYMPTOM

Those who read all their little pamphlets faithfully have noticed that the parietal regulations are becoming stricter. There was formerly a well known rule which said, "No young women unattended by an older woman as chaperon SHOULD be received in a student's room." This year the corresponding rule reads, "No young women unattended by an older woman as chaperon MAY be received in a student's room."

Why this change? Can it be that the deans have lost their faith in the ability of Harvard students to take a hint? Is it possible that they no longer consider the required reading of "College Life" sufficient to keep the reader in the straight and narrow path for four years?

As with nations, so is it with colleges. When they are young and vigorous, high ideals find expression in the progress of the community and the virtue of the individual. These two factors lead to a period of great prosperity, as in Rome 2000 years ago, or at Harvard today. Prosperity, in turn, by a rule never known to fall, leads to a moral slackening, slight at first, later accelerated--which ultimately results in the downfall of the society. The first symptom of this period of decadence is seen when the authorities find it necessary to make the laws more strict. In Rome the liberal republic gave way to a tyrannical monarchy; at Harvard the gentle "should" is changed to the imperative "may".

Men of Harvard, despair of hope! The fatal symptom cannot be mistaken. The oldest college in America has reached the apex of its glory. We can now only pray that its period of decadence be as long drawn out as was Rome's.

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