Study Group and the Soapbox

The self-styled "amusingly engineered coup" which turned the Harvard-Radcliffe Committee to Study Disarmament into an anti-appeasement club has completely perverted the group's non-political nature and destroyed its original intent. This internal reversal, which was managed by the president and specially-elected members, should not be dismissed with nothing more than a smile at the political cleverness which supplanted the supposed naivete of the founders. The incident is hardly funny, and even less so because the same trick theoretically could be perpetrated on any other college organization.

It is not a question of legality, but of the cynical spirit in which the members of the organization perverted its purpose. Since controlling powers, in this case the Student Council and the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs, cannot legislate morality, an important factor in avoiding repetition of such actions will have to be the strong expression of student and faculty objection.

If this light-hearted and heavy-handed intrigue goes unchallenged, the study committee will have become another small soapbox for campus partisans. A group which potentially can carry on a serious, disinterested study of an honest international problem will have fallen prey to the petty machinations of undergraduate politicians.

The Student Council should to the extent of its powers try to nullify the new constitution, or recommend an act of censure to the members of the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs. To condone such fast and loose plays now is to lay all organizations open to them in the future.