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Radcliffe in the College


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In an editorial of 24 March the CRIMSON stated that there is a "strange philosophy at large in Harvard today" concerning Radcliffe. What the editorial failed to recognize is that this "philosophy" is wholly natural in view of the stranger phenomenon of joint education. While the Corporation chooses fitting titles, the student attends what is really Harvard-Radcliffe, a college for men and women. Naturally, many students resent this reality, especially those who thought they applied to a men's (or women's) college. Naturally, they attempt to cling to the remains of their illusion.

What led Harvard, after a long tradition as a college for men, to establish coeducation must be a mystery to many students and alumni. Certainly there is not correlation between progressive and coeducation or reactionary and college-for-men as descriptions of an educational institution. Certainly this is not convenient, for injecting an additional thousand students of any sex into Harvard classes is not convenient, although it does solve the problems of Radcliffe, which problems the Corporation has unfortunately made its own. Certainly Harvard as a men's college did not "owe" the use of its facilities to Radcliffe, any more than Smith owes the use of its facilities to Amherst. Most certainly Harvard did not gain by swallowing such an indigestible morsel, for its is difficult to see how joint instruction has raised the standards of the College or improved the maturity or outlook of the student. Coeducation is with us as an unexplained reality.

Evidently, the Administration itself entertains doubts on the value of Harvard education, for they consistently oppose the further consequences of the joint education, which they stoutly but hollowly insist is not coeducation. The main result of this stand is to cloud the entire issue of coeducation. The administration's stand on Lamont or Harvard organizations appears reactionary, and closer integration appears as a progressive step against which "fearfuls" vainly fight. The question of whether or not Harvard should be a college for men goes unasked. Kenneth C. Keller '51   Robert J. Herbert '51

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