Side by side with the European situation, belated reverberations of the long-repealed Volstead Act rumbled noisily across the front pages of yesterday's Boston papers and singled out Radcliffe College for attack. The vituperative pen of a Greater Boston preacher managed to magnify the serving of sherry at a meeting of the Radcliffe Auxiliary into a drunken carousal; but investigation shows two important facts were overlooked in making these accusations, facts which dim the lurid spotlight thrown on an innocent gathering.
Contrary to some headlines, this was no mass sherry-sipping party at which girl students indulged in a miniature Roman orgy. About seventy Radcliffe alumni and friends were there, including some of Harvard's best known professors. For this group, twelve girl students were enlisted to serve wine. These students did not imbibe; their's but to stand and wait. A part of the Radcliffe Choral Society which entertained at dinner, however, did receive some of the "alcoholic depressant," as the preacher chose to term good sherry, although certainly not in such quantities as to outrage the memory of Mrs. Cabot, a former temperance worker, in the building dedicated to her name.
A second objection to the charges hurled is of a more fundamental type. Although held in a college dormitory, this was a private party, and as such its actions were not open to public censure. If--and this of course is purely hypothetical--Radcliffe girls have stooped so low as to drink sherry at times, that is their own private problem, provided there are no college rules to the contrary. No one seems to care what a Harvard student drinks, or where. Thus it seems odd, even sad, that Radcliffe morals and stomachs should be valued so much more highly, particularly when the alleged debauchery took place in impeccable surroundings.