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Parietal Hours


This Saturday the football team will play in Philadelphia; female guests may be entertained in students' rooms until midnight.

The only apparent relationship between the two statements above is an entirely arbitrary one: they are connected by a semi-colon. In actuality, the only connection is equally arbitrary, but since it exists in the mind of the administration, it has the force of law for the college.

The right to entertain girls in one's room is a privilege granted by the University. But its withdrawal should be of demonstrable benefit. The only group which benefits from the weekly amputation of the parietal hours is the house committees, whose dances, presumably, enjoy increased attendance.

It would seem that it is in the interests of the committees that the hours are curtailed; they are relieved of the obligation to make their dances sufficiently interesting to draw crowds on their merits. While this must please the committees, it is a sorry basis for administrative action.

The other reason that has been advanced for curtailment is that students with dates will drink less if thrown out of their rooms at eight-thirty, and thus there will be less reckless driving and general unpleasantness around the Square. This is a curious thesis. Surely there cannot be many students whose thirst is markedly affected by the doings of eighty muscular young men on the other side of the river six hours previously. At least, it is equally likely that students, with only the alternatives of a House Dance or something more expensive, will choose to go without Saturday dates and drink themselves blind on their own. If the current policy has any effect on drinking, it is to increase the business of the local taverns.

Clearly, there is no reason while the regular parietal hours cannot be used on football Saturdays. But if the administration is determined to follow its present course, the least it can do is arrange that more games be played away from Cambridge.

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