The following article was written for the Crimson by Francis Keppel, '38, president of the Student Council.
Undergraduates of the college will be asked at the time of registration to contribute to the budget of the Student Council. This budget is estimated to be $7,800, a figure reached through experience in former years, which represents roughly $5.00 from each student. The money is contributed to local charities, scholarship aides, and for maintenance expenses of the Council (which are surprisingly low.)
Several years ago the Council found that it was the wish of the undergraduate body that it contribute for them to the local charities in Cambridge and Boston. Their policy has been very successful in keeping the students from being bothered by begging letters and personal visits from representatives of these charities. Therefore a generous contribution to the Council budget will protect the undergraduate and at the same time clear his conscience.
Annually roughly $3,000 is contributed to the Phillips Brooks House. The Council does not pretend to inquire into exactly how this money is spent. However, direct contacts between Harvard and outside world must be considered by an organization like the Council, and past experience has shown that Phillips Brooks House has these necessary contacts and is the most practically and trustworthy organization through which the Council can work.
Probably the most far reaching influence of the Council lies in its yearly report on various phases of college life. These reports are published after careful and occasionally expensive investigations. The contribution of the student may therefore result, indirectly, in a report which will influence the educational or even the athletic policy of the college. The Council therefore urges that each student contribute as much as he feels he can afford, and promises that to the limits of its ability the money will be well spent.