The new regulations issued yesterday by Mr. Durant concerning solicitation on University property promise to bring a semblance of order into a realm which during past years has been, to say the least, chaotic. The new code of rules, assembled after a wide survey of similar problems in other universities, deserves applause for its unquestionable fairness.
Its most important stipulation is that the privilege of solicitation in University buildings is to be granted to Harvard students strictly on a basis of eligibility. Application for this permission is to be made through the Student Employment Office, which will pass judgment upon the financial requirements of each student. It is extremely necessary that this regulation of eligibility be observed to the letter. Soliciting in the dormitories and Houses will undoubtedly bring substantial returns to many students, and it goes without saying that this privilege should be reserved for those whose financial need is greatest.
In the past the failure of all rules concerning solicitation has been almost wholly due to the difficulty of enforcing them. Under the new regulations, however, an insignia is to be worn by all students licensed to canvass, making their status clear to wary janitors and occupants of rooms in the college buildings. The students body will be able to cooperate with the University by receiving only those men whose right to solicit is assured by the official badge. All other salesmen in University buildings will be trespassers and should be treated accordingly.
However, with irritating vagueness, Mr. Durant has left the status of businesses run by students as obscure as over. The report states that specially qualified business houses may be given permission to employ students through the Students Employment Office after a careful examination of their repute and financial solidity has been made. Does this mean, therefore, that enterprises managed by students must also prove their financial responsibility? If so, one or two student business organization may be able to satisfy the University, but the majority will not be so fortunate. It is wise of the University to take steps to prevent the recurrence of a situation such as the collapse of the Undergraduate laundry last February, and financial responsibility should be sine qua non of all business enterprises. But so far Mr. Durant has not stated his attitude on student organizations, and his atter ambiguity detracts from an otherwise complete code of regulations.