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To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
It does seem a shame doesn't it? With a well-bred indifference for such mundane affairs. Harvard's intellectuals including those many students who come of working class families and find it necessary to work their way through Harvard go their way serenely indifferent to the plight of Harvard's large staff of underpaid workers, whose condition is a disgrace to the University.
The latest and, as yet most flagrant case of the heartlessness of hundred million dollar corporation headed by a Lowell and with its Alumni Society headed by a Morgan towards those who do its dirty work is that reported in this morning's Post. "Twenty scrub-women in the Widener Library were discharged by virtue of no fault or complaint of their own, by Harvard College following advice from the State Minimum Wage Commission that their pay must be raised from 35 cents to 37 cents an hour making a total increase for the twenty of $2.00 a day or $12.00 a week. The women were getting $10.50 a week each. The increase would have given them 60 cents more a week."
The heavy burden of $12.00 a week would have added only $600 a year to Harvard's budget; somehow perhaps a sympathetic administration might have found some way to manage it, especially when one considers that $600 represents the income on only $10,000 and Harvard just received $5,000,000 with no strings attached. One is led to believe that the University administration was not particularly anxious to raise the money for when the Locker Building burned a few nights ago several hundred thousand dollars were raised within forty-eight hours to replace it. Harvard, as we know, exists almost entirely on either the conscience money paid over by rich men or the rent, profits, dividends and interest on her invested millions. Harvard's heads, some of them are men who receive an income close to a million dollars a year through birth and not because of any effort of their own. That they should display such calloused indifference to the condition under which their fellow beings must work or be thrown out of work is to be expected. But it leads one to wonder how much reliance may be put in the social and economic teachings of men who are appointed by them and depend on their good will to retain their positions.
A number of years ago, when President Lowell broke the Boston Police Strike, Professor Laski remarked that there was a rapidly growing opinion throughout the world that Harvard was a strictly capitalist institution. Professor Laski has departed but the melody lingers on.... Laurence B. Cohen, Jr.