To the Editor of the Crimson:
At this time it is very important that attention should be drawn to Harvard's "unemployment" problem. It has been estimated that almost 100 undergraduates are forced to leave college each year mainly because of financial difficulties. And only about half of the 2000 applicants for work, according to the annual report of the Student Employment Office, were able to find jobs. What can be done?
A number of piece-meal solutions have been proposed and are being proposed:
a. Giving students jobs as waiters in the dining halls. But this would means that many waitresses would be discharged.
b. Giving special loans or scholarships. But neither the College nor the Student Council ever has sufficient funds.
The only adequate solution is for the College to apply for funds from the National Youth Administration in order to start a student work program, such as exists at Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Chicago, etc.
The plan would give 600 students (including graduates) a chance to earn an average of $135 each college year. The chief objections to the N. Y. A. plan have been:
a. That political strings will be attached. But, on the contrary, not the government officials but College officials administer the plan and select the students.
b. That N.Y.A. doesn't pay enough. But the amount that can be earned often means the difference between staying and leaving college. Furthermore, the N.Y.A. aid can be used to supplement the present Student Employment Plan.
c. That N. Y. A. aid is too difficult to administer. But Mr. Sharpe, former director of Student Employment, said in his report of 1935 that there would be no difficulties in administering such a program.
I personally hope sincerely that the College authorities will give favorable consideration to the N. Y. A. plan. Langdon P. Marvin, Jr. '41, President, Harvard Student Council