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In the most hotly contested political battle of our times today's Crimson poll should stir up more interest than the ordinary straw vote. The activites of Harvard students in the campaign of recent weeks the Landon-Knox Club, the First Voters League, the Roosevelt organizations, all show a ferment of undergraduate opinion unusual in a university accustomed to taking its politics in the coolest manner.
Harvard's vote is much more than a waited straw showing student opinion. The Harvard community, made up of the College, the graduate schools, and the faculty, numbers well over 13,000 men. Even allowing for a small percentage of minors under voting age, Harvard polls more votes than Augusta, Maine, or Santa Fe, New Mexico, and over twice as many as the capital city of Vermont. It is, moreover, an unusual bloc, representing almost complete freedom of choice and a devoted interest in political affairs.
In England, where the scholarly centers are regarded much more as communities than in this country, such a vote as this would result in the dispatch of the vote as this would result in the dispatch of the university's representatives to Parliament at London. If in the United States the universities elect no Congressmen of their own, the students still have their votes in their home electoral districts. It is to be hoped that the students will make the effort to record their vote in the Crimson poll, just as they will, or would, next November third. It is an experiment of great interest to see how a large community, better informed than most, and certainly less bossed, will cast its ballot for President of the United States.
"AS THE FRENCH WOULD SAY"
An institution which works smoothly and continuously is often accepted by those who benefit with a dullness of appreciation and an absence of recognition that bewilders the observer. The work of the French Talking Film Committee falls within this category; years ago it became a Harvard institution, unique of its kind, but never fully valued.
Although Mrs. Edward K. Rand, as chairman, has been suitably honored with the "Palmes Academiques" by the French Government, few and far between have been the plaudits of the Harvard multitude. It is true that the Committee's offerings are attended by a great many students, but they are accepted with the same passive pleasure as the stacks in Widener or the works of art in Fogg.
It is a mistake, however, to think of the work as being automatically self-perpetuating. Since 1931, when Mrs. Rand first considered the plan, the Committee has had to overcome difficulties of organization, selection, and financial support. Today little initiative is required of the student body beyond ushering and ticket-taking, which should prove anything but onerous to those interested. Certainly it is within the power of some of the students to aid the presentation of the films in this minor but essential way--especially when the recompense of admittance to all previews shown the selecting committee is offered.
The free offerings of the French Films Committee are to be particularly recommended to Freshmen, who may not know of their value. Last year the Committee showed a varied selection of excellent films, including the French version of "Pasteur." This week it is presenting an adaptation of Beaumarchais' "Barbier de Seville"--one of the greatest plays in any language--with a fine cast including actors from the Paris Opera and the Opera-Comique. The Committee might, with considerable justice, lay claim to a policy of showing "nothing but the best."
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