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Student Council Suggestions Voted Down by Undergraduates

Ignorance of Reform Details Possibly Influenced Undergraduate Vote


Both suggestions made by the Student Council Committee on Education which were submitted to the vote of the Faculty and the College in the poll conducted by the CRIMSON on Monday were defeated by a comparatively narrow margin. There were 964 votes cast against the proposal to divide Harvard into smaller colleges to 822 votes in favor of the suggestion, while the opponents of the plan to hold divisional examinations in the Junior year for distinction candidates outnumbered its advocates, 886 to 758.

The two questions were placed only on the ballots cast by undergraduates and on the postal cards which were mailed to members of the Faculty, since they were pertinent only to members of the University directly connected with the College. On both the questions, the Faculty vote belied the theory that the undergraduate body is more eager to break tradition than are the professors.

Faculty for Both Reforms

The Faculty upheld the plan for smaller colleges by a vote of 186 to 132, while the undergraduates defeated the suggestion 832 to 636. The second suggestion, that for divisionals in the Junior year, was also approved in the Faculty vote, 141 to 131, while the College went on record as opposed to it by the vote of 755 to 618.

How much the result is explained by the comparative ignorance on the part of the undergraduates of the details of the suggestions, it is impossible to deduce from the results of the poll. A surprisingly large number of ballots were cast with the vote on Prohibition recorded, but with no expression of opinion on the two last questions, and it is probable that the proposals have not as yet received sufficient attention to warrant any conclusive expression of opinion on the part of the College.

An analysis of the ballots cast offers little further explanation of the unexpected defeat of the two proposals made in the Student Council report. The Seniors voted slightly in favor of the colleges plan. The only other class which is at present living as a unit, the Freshman, showed an even break, as many voting for it as against it. The Sophomores and Juniors, however, voted heavily against any division such as that indicated on the ballot.

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