Late this month three undergraduate delegates, to be chosen in the dining halls at noon today, will proceed to the National Student Conference at Chicago where they will join the representatives of some two-hundred other American student bodies in drawing up plans for a permanent national student organization. The Chicago meeting can exert a strong influence both on the future of education at home and on the position of students throughout the world. This is important work, and the student body must choose carefully from the ten candidates, whose qualifications will be summarized on the ballot, if the delegation is to be the best possible representative of the Harvard undergraduate.
The delegates will attempt to create an organization through which subsequent and more completely representative student meetings can discuss and act on matters of student welfare. The quality of the delegates may well determine the success or failure of the Chicago conference, for in the past student gatherings have invariably sunk knee-deep in weighty resolutions instead of chasing after specific objectives. If a student organization can be set up now to function forcefully on such questions as GI allotments, the miserable condition of public education in the South, and religious and racial quotas in schools, the student's part in American education will have vastly increased in scope.
In addition to its functions at home, the conference plans to provide for more organized participation in international student meetings. In fact, the Chicago meeting was originally proposed by the American delegation to last summer's International Student Conference at Prague, which found difficulty in unifying the mass of student opinion as compared with traditionally close-knit European groups.
The delegates to the conference should be chosen for their qualifications to deal with the organizational problems of a student force, and not for any partisan affiliations they may have. The conference is not intended to provide students with a shouting voice on American troops in China, but with a strong grip on their own immediate conditions.