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THE MONTHLY'S MIRAGE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The Harvard Monthly in its latest issue has chosen to criticize the delivery system in Widener Library, and to castigate what they chose to term the "unsavory labor policy" of the University. Accurate, reliable criticism which is derived from the actual facts, and truthfully reported, is helpful and always appreciated by the authorities; but libellous, false and publicity-seeking accusations only serve to alienate those against whom they are directed, and bring nothing but ridicule upon the accusers.

Although the Monthly claims that it takes twenty minutes to get a book from the stacks, the truth of the matter is that it takes only about twelve minutes on an average. This figure has been established by repeated tests. The female "chasers" are not paid $40 a month for a 42 hour week, as the Monthly states, but receive $47.50 a month for a 39 hour week. This is an average of thirty cents an hour, which is the standard wage for labor of that unskilled type. Whether this wage is in itself too low is a question that may very well be debated, but it is quite universal for labor of that sort, and any institution paying that wage can not be accused of having an "unsavory labor policy." In addition one may add that this wage is the minimum paid to the "chasers" and that some of the salaries are well above this mark.

Not content with "sticking its neck out" with untrue statements, the article went on to say in petulant fashion that the University should not have paid $50,000 for two bronze rhinoceroses when the Widener Library was suffering from neglect. This puerile statement has no bearing on the case, as the money for the two mammoth creatures came from a special fund, and could not have been expended in any other fashion.

Although it was only recently that the Monthly made its reappearance upon the Harvard journalistic field, that is no excuse for resorting to such cheap methods of gaining notoriety. If the Monthly wishes to make itself better known as an undergraduate magazine, it should abstain from falsifications, and stick to the facts, as it will gain much more from being accurate. It is too bad that the magazine that was once so ably directed by such men as Santayana and George Baker should have been so careless.

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