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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Like any other innovation designed to bring about an improvement in the existing social order, the establishment of the House Plan at Harvard may be relied upon to carry in its wake something more than a group of spic and span Georgian dormitories. Whether Harvard men like it or not, the new buildings by the Charles are symbols of change and of a new chapter in the history of the College. With the opening of the first two units next fall it will be possible to determine with some degree of accuracy the direction in which the wind is blowing.
The appointment a week ago of undergraduate committees for each house indicates a desire on the part of the administration for active cooperation from the residents. That this cooperation should be more than nominal is certainly implied in the whole spirit of the Plan. Considerable authority hitherto vested solely in University Hall will find its way through the House Plan to the House Master, who, it is to be expected, will in turn be somewhat influenced by his undergraduate committees.
Under the House Plan it is to be expected that some departure from present conditions will be in order if the social aims of the scheme are to be realized. Conditions in the new buildings are such that modification of the rule concerning the entertainment of women guests, for example, could well be effected. The new spirit of the Houses makes it reasonable for steps to be taken to follow the lead of other eastern universities where un-chaperoned women guests are permitted in the students' rooms at specified times. Cooperation of the committees with the Masters is a logical way to work out such a plan whereby on definite occasions, such as the afternoons of football games, Harvard under the House Plan may enjoy an open house.
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