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A new corporation to provide "earnings opportunities and growth" for student representatives who solicit on University properities was announced yesterday by Dustin M. Burke '52, general manager of the organization and director of Student Employment. The corporation, the Harvard Student Agencies, Inc., is designed to act as a central clearing house for all agencies which involve room-to-room solicitation.
Stifled resentment from assertedly "wronged" students appeared last night, directed primarily against the fact that any student who solicits in dormitories must belong to the corporation, which taxes members a flat ten per cent of net profits for services rendered.
Some representatives, although reluctant to appear outspoken on the question, intimated that extreme pressure had been exerted upon established agents to force them to join the corporation, with thinly-veiled threats of loss of employ for failure to comply.
While these students admitted that the combine offered certain concrete advantages to members, almost all would have preferred to operate under the former system, arguing that the ten per cent loss in revenue is not compensated for by the services the organization provides.
Another objection raised by agents was that returns from the funds accumulated by the corporation would not appear until later years, excluding any benefits for present members. Long-range objectivs of the structure are financial aid for students who need capital to implement ideas, acceptance of liabilities for losing businesses, and eventually, a fulltime general manager.
Although a preliminary budget for this year has been prepared, it has not yet been approved by the board of directors. Burke said that it included such items as office space, part-time secretarial work, and legal advice, but declined to make specific expenditures known.
Gregory B. Stone '58 is president of the corporation, Guido F. DiMeo '60 is treasurer, and Theodore H. Elliott, Jr. '58 is clerk. The student officers do not receive a salary, Burke reported.
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