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In an interview in today's CRIMSON Mr. Williams, president of the Associated Harvard Clubs, points out three significant aspects of the new House plan which, while not altogether unconsidered, will bear iteration. First, he attributes any opposition the plan has incurred to ignorance of it and its purpose. Secondly, he points to the unanimous favor of graduates and tries to build up a case of undergraduate approval. Thirdly, he admits that the details of the plan should be given the most careful attention.
Mr. Williams' statement that ignorance causes the opposition to the House plan may be qualified. It must be pointed out that a lack of complete understanding of a thing is a very good reason for opposing it. If Mr. Williams is true, it is not the fault of those who are ignorant, but of those who refuse to alleviate this ignorance, that the House plan, shrouded in suspicious darkness, has met with more opposition than the interview would lead one to believe. It was a serious mistake to acquaint undergraduates and graduates with such a momentous innovation by means of sensational rumors and fictitious scoops prompted by newspaper rivalry. It is not too late to instruct more thoroughly those interested in the plan and its purpose.
Mr. Williams, however, is too optimistic in his general observations upon the success of the House plan and its long endurance. It is just as possible that many who favor the plan are influenced by lack of information as those who oppose it. He is certainly true when he says that the great majority of undergraduates know nothing about the plan. The CRIMSON referendum of two years ago, almost forgotten in the renewal of the question this year, definitely proves that even undergraduate ignorance and indifference refused to sanction the proposed plan and voted against its adoption. There is no reason to believe that there has been a volte-face. Furthermore, while it is not important to whom Mr. Williams refers as undergraduate leaders, the fact that little but opposition to the plan has been heard lately seems to have escaped his notice. The advisability of the House plan has been debated in the Student Council, in club circles, and by undergraduate publications where as much knowledge of it as possible has been obtained.
The only true knell of general accord among Harvard men at present as regards the new Houses is the statement of Mr. Williams that "there is a strong feeling among Harvard men everywhere that we should go very slowly in carrying out the details" of the innovation. Until more comprehensive information has been widely distributed, optimistic generalizations should be avoided.
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