Thanks to almost simultaneous rulings last week by the powers that be in Nassau and New Haven, Princeton men and Yale men can now go to the dogs perfectly legally. For the bottle which has long nestled illicitly in the darkest corner of every good Princetonian's closet can be brought out onto his mantelpiece in safety, and the Elis can sleep peacefully through all their classes.
Princeton's 195-year-old ban on liquor in dormitory rooms was lifted at a meeting Friday of the Board of Trustees and a new rule, described as "a recognition of an existing situation rather than a radical change" takes its place.
The new rule reads: "Intoxication or disorder and bad manners arising from the use of liquor are particularly serious offenses and will subject the student involved to the penalty of suspension or dismissal from the university."
Under the old rule the Princeton lads not only couldn't get squiffed but couldn't even keep a bottle of sherry in their rooms without being theoretically liable for punishment. There has been a minimum of effort to enforce the ruling, however, and the new law is designed to allow a wider and more suitable enforcement.
The new law is covered in a general way by the famous first provision in the catalogue of rules and regulations, providing that all students "are expected to conduct themselves in a manner becoming scholars and gentlemen."
Yale still has a rule similar to the one just abolished at Princeton, but the Yale authorities are also lenient in their interpretation. Beer has even been served in the common rooms of Yale Colleges at various times.
The trend of the new Princeton law is the reverse of the action taken by Dartmouth authorities last year when, for the first time since Eleanor Wheelock bought a dozen acres and a ski jump from the local Indian tribe in exchange for some 500 of New England rum. Dartmouth men were threatened with the dire punishment of dismissal for getting liquored up.
In addition to abolishing the cut limit of 15, the Yale College Faculty, in a second signal innovation, raised the requirements for Dean's List from 3 B's and 2 C's to a straight B average or better.
The innovations, which will go into effect with the opening of school next fall, are a part of the general revision of the rules of Yale College. Greater liberality and flexibility is the purpose behind the change in which the committee sought "to clarify old confusions and to improve while clarifying."
Attendance will still be taken in all Yale classes and absences will be reported to the Dean's office, but the authorities will intervene only in excessive cases. No cuts will be allowed for students not on the Dean's List in classes on days immediately preceding or following reading periods or vacations.
Dean William C. DeVane, on being asked whether the system was modeled on that of Harvard, replied, "We did not mention Harvard in designing the plan. Those who think that they can go on a spree will find themselves chucked out of a course."
The Dean's List will be given the more high-sounding title of Dean's Honor List, indicating that it is harder to get on than it used to be.
The Yale Daily News referred to the changes as "a great step forward in the liberation of undergraduates from a system which seemed sometimes to treat them as children."
"At one stroke that vast, indefinite body of undergraduates, not of low enough stand to be on probation, nor high enough to make the Dean's List, has been removed, and scholastic lines have been more clearly and satisfactorily drawn," the News said