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Ties for Elis


The first Yale Daily News of the season arrived the other day, full of what it called "radical changes" around New Haven. We noted that used furniture entrepreneurs can no longer peddle their wares to unsuspecting freshmen. More important to growing Yalies, we read that the University is to allow them to drink all the milk they can hold. And then, we were surprised to learn that Yale has decided to make public the approximate number of students who will register this fall, as compared with the number who really did so last year.

All this was more news than has come out of New Haven for many a month, and we were prepared to believe that Yale was really coming around to some wise decisions. Then we were struck by the most radical of all changes, which is that henceforth Yalies must wear coats and ties to all meals. That was somewhat puzzling because we had the impression that Yalies--at least the ones we know--always looked like mannekins in a J. Press window. Evidently, however, there are those who do not appreciate the value of conservative tailoring, and the administration decided to take the matter in hand.

Some dean in charge of these matters allowed as how the "untidyness" of Yalies had elicited a "great deal of criticism" from visitors, and went on to explain that "not conformity, but neatness" was the aim of the edict. That went without saying, and what the dean must have meant is that he prefers well-dressed conformity to a bunch of sloppy Joes or sloppy Elihus. Anyone familiar with New Haven knows that Yale has already achieved remarkable conformity without coats and ties.

Our immediate reaction to the whole controversy--and apparently some Yalies are none too happy about the change--was simply that you can't make a silk purse out of a bulldog's ear. It will not possibly do to have Yalies parading around in coats and ties when they would prefer to wear a tee shirt and sweat pants, or perhaps a swimming suit. While we have no particular objection to giving top hats to Zulus, we see no necessity for it.

A final word. Not even Yale can legislate social attitudes. The sooner A. Whitney Griswold and his bunch of deans find out they have a crew of uncivilized weenies on their hands, the better.

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