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Defends Lowell House Nominations



To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

While it is not the responsibility of the Harvard Student Council or the Lowell House Committee to justify itself for every vicious, erroneous letter which the "Harvard" CRIMSON finds itself obliged to publish, the extreme to which George L. Wronn '50 carries malicious untruth deserves some comment. It has rightly been said that if untruth is grass enough it will often be believed.

The nominating meeting for Lowell House representatives to the Student Council was announced for Sunday evening, April 16. A large notice was posted the previous day and on the day of the meeting was prominently displayed at the checker's desk in the dining room where it could hardly escape attention.

At 7 p.m. Sunday less than the necessary quorum was present in the dining hall, but since it was felt that those men interested would be represented, the meeting was called to order on the common parliamentary premise that if the chairman declares a quorum to exist, a quorum does exist until it is challenged by a member of the body. Four men were nominated from the floor. At this point the quorum was challenged and the meeting dissolved.

The alternative procedure as stipulated by the Constitution of the Student Council was adopted. A committee was appointed consisting, as required, of the Student Council members resident in the House, members of the House Committee, and three members of the House not members of the House committee.

This committee made no nominations itself. It placed in nomination the four men proposed from the floor. Nominations were then left open for two days in order that additional candidates might be proposed. A notice to this effect was posted on the door of the dining hall. Three additional names were submitted and automatically nominated by the committee. The procedure employed is felt to be more democratic than the normal nominating process from the floor in open meeting, which precludes the possibility of further nomination after the close of that meeting. It is hoped that this method of nomination will be permanently adopted by the Council. A glance at the ballot will indicate clearly that there was no attempt to put forth "its own slate of candidates" as declared in Wrenn's leter.

It is a surprising fact that the dining hall check system reveals that Wrenn did not cat any meals in Lowell House on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, April 15, 16 and 17. These were the days in which the notices were posted and includes, incidentally, the day upon which the meeting itself, which he purports to have witnessed, occurred.

The CRIMSON has a responsibility to ascertain the facts before allowing an unprincipled, invidious, irresponsible statement to reach the public. Once such a statement is published, no matter what the extent of rebuttal and denial, personal damage is still done, as is well indicated by the attacks upon public figures by irresponsible individuals in Washington. It must be quite apparent to the CRIMSON that it has become party, innocently or otherwise, to the mud-slinging attack instigated by thoughtless members of the community; a shibboleth joyously taken up by other individuals whose only contribution to Harvard is constant, vicious, destructive criticism of the worst kind. If Wrenn is at all interested in the constructive work of the Council we refer him to page one, column three of the CRIMSON in which his letter appears. There are members who have opposed measures currently before the Council as vehemently as the abolition organization. They have been joined by other students. Their opposition is of a constructive nature rather than of the smear campaign variety designed primarily to obtain personal publicity for the students involved. David C. Poskanzer '50   Dominique H. Wyant '50

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