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The proposal of the Student Council Committee on Education that Harvard College be subdivided into small colleges has been submitted to a general vote of faculty and students, and the results of the poll, though not in any sense conclusive, are highly interesting. By a vote of 186 to 132 the faculty approved the plan. By a vote of 832 to 636 the students disapproved it. In both cases the margin was so slight, that the only thing the poll proves is that opinion is clearly divided, with the faculty tend-to favor the plan and the students tending to oppose it. It remains a subject for speculation how much of student opposition is due to ignorance or misinformation concerning the proposed changes. Various questions asked by students during the balloting indicate that the some, at least, had not read the proposal on which they were voting.
Had the result been decisive either way, its significance would have been obvious. As it is, the only fact that can be deduced with certainty is that students have not yet made up their minds one way or another. Most students are probably agreed that such a plan to divide the College into smaller units would have a profound effect upon Harvard life and education if it should be adopted. Many students, as the vote indicates, think this effect would be beneficial. Others, and the vote shows there are two hundred more of these, think it would not. But the question remains in doubt in the minds of a great many. Too brief a time has elapsed since the proposal was first brought forward to allow adequate discussion and consideration of the real points at issue.
After the ballots had been counted and it became apparent that the general vote was indecisive, it was thought that it might be more significant to determine how the various classes voted. The ballots were therefore--checked against directory and the count was again taken by classes. The count showed that the Freshman class was equally divided, as many voting for the sub-college plan as against it. In the Sophomore class there was decided objection to the plan: out of every twelve voting, seven opposed it and five favored it. In the Junior class this margin was reduced, since in every eleven voting, six were against it and five were for it. But in the Senior class the tide turned in favor of the plan: out of every nine voting, five approved the plan and four disapproved.
In other words, the two hundred ballots which threw the general vote against the proposal were drawn wholly from the two middle classes, the Freshmen being non-committal, and the Seniors showing a slightly favorable margin. No certain conclusions can be drawn from these figures, but they seem to indicate that those students who have been in college longest and are most familiar with conditions show a tendency to favor subdivision of the College into smaller units.
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