Dean Hanford's hope that there will be a development of a strong sentiment against "public disturbances" on the part of the undergraduates is an idealistic one. The lure of adventure and the love of milling in crowds on warm spring evenings is inherent in every student here, and adventurous milling is rather likely to lead to that classic Deanism, "public disturbance."
But the question of the likeliness of a disturbance, or more familiarly, a riot, is not the main issue in the minds of undergraduates. They are more concerned with the question of what will happen to them as a result of participation in a riot. They will not be treated like boys on an outing. If anyone doubts this fact, let them look at the record of the aftermath of the May third riot last year. Two students had their connection with the University severed, one had his degree held up a half year, a number were placed on probation until the end of the year, and a sizeable group were on disciplinary pro until this mid-years. The ones punished were not necessarily the most guilty. They were the ones caught. The University treats riots seriously, and the sooner the undergraduates learn this the better.
Last year also there was a cry that the Cambridge police employed too many strong - arm methods in dealing with the rioters. They used plenty of tear gas and, on occasions, some stick-handling. One student came within an ace of having his eye put out by a tear gas bomb, and two went to a hospital from rough treatment. The police are not the Yard cops. They will treat rioters from Harvard exactly the same way that they will treat any Boston demonstration which gets out of hand. This spring they are likely to treat the Harvard boys more severely, and it is understood that nausca gas will be used as well as tear gas.
Being expelled or being placed on probation for a long period is no fun. It is even less fun to be hit over the head with a night stick or to suffer the effects of gas. It is not part of a college education, not even an extra-curricular part.