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Unlike most colleges in the United States and England, Harvard is peculiarly free from restraints imposed by the college authorities from above, and restraints put on by the students themselves. Harvard men enjoy unparalleled liberty in ordering the affairs of their daily lives, for the College allows them to come and go at any time during day or night, and there are no such things on the Yard as skull caps, black ties, or other horrors for Freshmen. So far as the University and the rest of the student body is concerned, each individual is a unit sufficient unto himself.
In return for this freedom, however, some sort of responsibility is demanded. It is obvious that because the College does nothing to stop them beforehand, students are not free to run about the streets at night disturbing the peace, though such things have been known to happen, or to use Boston as the taking off spot for a round of riotous living, riotous living which can only reflect discredit on him who indulges and on the Harvard which does not hinder him. The price of living in a civilized society is paid by not murdering anyone whom you happen to dislike, or running off indiscriminately with other peoples' wives. Likewise the price of attending a liberal institution is in accepting the responsibilities which that liberalism places squarely on every individual.
There are a certain minority of light-minded play-fellows who fail to respond to such treatment, however, and these present the problem. For it is from their ill-intentioned antics that Harvard gets unfavorable publicity among the population, and those who are in the lime-light in an unpleasant way give people who resent the presence of a great University in their midst their evil impression. It seems obvious, then, that the University should deal summarily with men who fail to accept the responsibility of giving Harvard a fair name in the community.
For the rest, the vast majority of men who are proud to be here, and willing to show their pride by the example they set, no further supervision, either from the authorities or the student body, is needed. These men are more than likely to respond to attacks on Harvard, from within and without, by showing an esprit de corps worthy of the University and by a way of living worthy of their own ideals in coming here.
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