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The petition asking the Student Council to support President Conant's stand against the Teachers' Oath Law deserves universal support from the College. When the legislative committee convenes again tomorrow, the mounting tide of opposition to the Oath will gain even more momentum if the Harvard student body pulls strongly for repeal. The Council, representing the college as a whole, and not any particular group or faction, commands solid undergraduate backing and is best fitted to take the students' case to the State House.
President Conant has already shown how the oath interferes with a professor's right to teach what he thinks, but the oath concerns the student almost as vitally as the instructor. No one has sufficiently taken the side of the man who pays for an education in order to learn about the world as it is, and not the adulterated truth as political parties may conceive it. Because it shackles the minds of the faculty, an oath law lessens the value of college training.
If the Student Council can arrive on Beacon Hill armed with scores of signatures favoring repeal, the lawmakers will sit up and take notice. Politicians are more sensitive to potential votes than to the high-minded doctrines of a dozen college presidents, for it is only the perfect organization of the paper dollar patriots that gives them their control. But when several thousand students add their weight to President Conant's plea on behalf of the faculty, the legislators may feel more inclined to take the abortive Oath Law off the statute books. Every student in the college should make an effort to get his name on the petition before nightfall.
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