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The most revealing aspect of the Crimson is the deep. almost physical attachment most Crimeds have for the building at 14 Plympton Street, for the other people who help put the paper out, and for the integrity of the paper. The attachment is not less amazing if you consider the less than elegant decor of the building, the often bizarrely heterogeneous natures of the dozens of students who make up the Crimson, and the inescapable hard work that goes into it.
Although we do have the best photography and printing facilities around, the general appearance of our rather decrepit, old building just can't compete with something like the stately Lampoon. If you're looking for a place with some quiet, leisurely atmosphere, forget it. (The Fly Club is between Mt. Auburn St. and the main entrance of Lowell House.)
At first glance, it might be inconceivable that such a diverse group of students could work harmoniously enough together to print the Crimson every day. Often even the editors can't figure out how the morrow's paper will be completed, but for better or worse, we always make it. The Crimson puts together more people with radically different life styles than any other group at Harvard. The newsroom sometimes resembles a cross between a Soc Rel 120 section and an encounter group-only it's much more fun, and occasionally just as illuminating.
Then there's the work. Some editors devote more time to the Crimson than to all their courses combined. Of course, not many people do this, and it's expected of no one. We only mention it to show how absorbing the work can be, if you give it the chance. And it isn't beside the point that Crimson editors have a higher grade average than their schoolmates, despite Crimson labors.
Competing for the Crimson is certainly rather tricky business. There's no guarantee that you'll make it. We're looking for students who can demonstrate competence in some field, however narrow. But remember that it's not as difficult as getting into Harvard or Radcliffe. Few people who stick out the entire competition for any of the four boards get cut in the end. Persistence, initiative, and some work at developing the skills you obviously possess will get you elected.
After you get elected, the Crimson becomes a veritable smorgasbord of delights. Even if you never do another stitch of work for us, you will always be a Crimson editor. It is hoped that you will work for us after election, but there are no chains. And if you get elected on one board, you're free to try your hand at something else. Our current president started out selling ads.
The question of whether or not to compete really boils down to what you want out of Harvard. If you want to talk to people, if you really have things to say, if you want to meet as many different kinds of people as possible-not only other students, but also professors, politicians, and building-burning radicals, then considering coming out for the Crimson. If you want to see how honestly creative you can be, try us.
NEWS BOARD: Competing for the News Board is the fastest, most efficient way to get an aerial view of the bright and dark sides of this wonderland which we call Harvard. It really helps put things into perspective. The News Board Comp also happens to develop skill and facility at writing the English language better than any Expository Writing section. The Board is looking for people who can combine the greatest simplicity with a quality which, for want of a better name, we call style. News editors write on topics ranging from national elections to Faculty intrigues to freshmen riots. The News Board is also searching for people who can demonstrate competence in specific fields, especially science, economics, and anything else you can convince us we need. The Sports Board is considered part of the News Board-and an important part. You can write mostly sports if you want to. You can write half sports, or you can write next to no sports. But, as Ben Beach, our boy wonder sports editor would say, "Sports is a groove." To repeat, the News Board Comp is Harvard's best introductory course to Harvard. (Consider the bright side: you'll be able to analyze and discuss with knowledge and precision exactly why you're miserable here.)
EDITORIAL BOARD: The Ed Board is looking for people who can write convincingly on any topics that interests some segment of the University community. Period. And that's a broad range of topics. Members of the Ed Board write many of the policies, brass tacks (in-depth discussions of some current problem), and reviews of books, movies, and plays that appear on page 2 of the Crimson. Students who can review the latest Godard extravaganzas will be accepted with open arms. The same goes for those who can unravel the myriad complexities of national politics and institutions. The former are never forced to write politics and the latter needn't ever have seen a play, let alone reviewed one. You just have to be able to do your thing well. Many members of the University community read Crimson editorials (notice we didn't say they agreed with them), and they do have an impact on the real world. You have a good chance of persuading a majority to support you but all is not lost if you don't. You can always write an "On the Other Hand" editorial stating your own position, no matter how deviant (miscreant?).
PHOTOGRAPHY BOARD: If you're intrigued by nonverbal communication, in this word-flooded environment, here's your chance. You don't have to know the first thing about photography. We'll teach you and provide you with first-rate equipment. And our excellent dark-room and printing facilities will be at your disposal.
BUSINESS BOARD: The Crimson is an independent corporation worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The people on the Business Board keep us all afloat. If you want to learn about big business and the octupus-like nature of Harvard Student Agencies scare you, as well it might, compete for the Business Board. After election, Business Board members earn a healthy commission on all ads they sell, including the ones sold during the competition. The Crimson will teach you how to sell ads and subscriptions, balance the books, and run off to Puerto Rico with anything you happen to pick up on the side.
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