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Kennedy Deflates Rumors Regarding Hum 130 Exam

No 'Forged Note'

By Philip M. Boffey

Rumors arising from a mix-up in the administration of the Humanities 130 exam were effectively spiked yesterday by Sargent Kennedy '28, registrar of the college.

The mix-up had resulted in Harvard students taking an "open book" exam, while their Radcliffe counterparts took the same exam without the benefit of outside aids.

Students who became aware of this discrepancy immediately started circulating wild tales, even one to the effect that some clever fellow had hoodwinked the Harvard proctors by forging a "personal" note from Archibald MacLeish, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory and lecturer in the course.

Kennedy explained, however, that the affair was just a simple case of administrative confusion. He said that back in November, when the Registrar's Office sends out forms to the various courses to determine what type of exams they will be giving, MacLeish had not yet decided whether he would give an open book exam or not.

The issue remained in doubt right up to the time of the exam on January 23. To complicate matters, MacLeish fell sick with a temperature of 103, and thus was not able to be at the exam.

When one of his assistants arrived at the Harvard room with the exam papers, the proctors asked him to call MacLeish to find out whether or not the students would be allowed to use their books. The assistant decided it would be best not to disturb MacLeish's rest, so he took the responsibility of deciding that books could be used. Meanwhile, the Radcliffe examiners acted on the assumption that it was a closed-book exam.

Kennedy and most students in the course felt the use of books probably did not help much, since the exam consisted in interpreting two poems, one of which had been assigned a month before. But some students felt that a heavily annotated book would have been a distinct advantage.

When one of his assistants arrived at the Harvard room with the exam papers, the proctors asked him to call MacLeish to find out whether or not the students would be allowed to use their books. The assistant decided it would be best not to disturb MacLeish's rest, so he took the responsibility of deciding that books could be used. Meanwhile, the Radcliffe examiners acted on the assumption that it was a closed-book exam.

Kennedy and most students in the course felt the use of books probably did not help much, since the exam consisted in interpreting two poems, one of which had been assigned a month before. But some students felt that a heavily annotated book would have been a distinct advantage.

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