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The current tendency of undergraduate organizations to break forth periodically on the air-waves is one to which the University would do well to give considerable attention, if not actual supervision, in order that the public may receive the maximum educational benefit and the best idea of Harvard. The potentialities of these broadcasts for good and evil alike are tremendous.
Few communities in the United States shelter as large a collection of anonymous scholars as that area vaguely designated as Harvard Square, where hundreds of men learned in their special fields live in comparative seclusion. Their function is vital to posterity, but it is often a thankless job so far as they personally are concerned. Any movement which can draw these men out and give them an opportunity to share their knowledge with the public and earn its immediate appreciation, not only renders a service to society, but repays the scholars in part for their labor and lends them added incentive.
The University has already led the way in this movement, but the time alloted by broadcasting stations to purely educational topics with no commercial tie-in is too small to allow any great scope to the University's program. In carrying on the program, undergraduate agencies are aiding in work of the greatest value, but they should proceed with caution. The name of Harvard is always included in the name of these societies, and however unofficial they may be in College life, they immediately assume an official aspect when they emerge from a loudspeaker. If undergraduates are willing to accept this responsibility when they go on the air and allow it to guide the tone of their broadcasts, they will be in a position to render a great public service, and will deserve the support of the University. Should they forget this responsibility, however, Harvard will have to take steps to preserve its good name from charges of propaganda and publicity-seeking.
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