"Theirs will be an invaluable opportunity to experience for a time the life of the working classes, the study their ideas of social reform and ultimately to aid intelligently in improving the living conditions of the laborers."
In April, there was a telephone strike and several Harvard students joined non-Union operators in helping to break the strike. The Mayor of Cambridge and several of the Union operators wrote letters to the CRIMSON denouncing the students.
The CRIMSON agreed that the students should not interfere, because, "Beyond the effect on themselves is the effect upon the reputation of the University. Harvard all too often is considered reactionary; too often are we named--and wrongly--a breeding place for capitalism. We need not favor the strike, but it is essential that our individual acts do not prejudice the University in the minds of the public."
The next day, the University announced the purchase of land south of Mass Ave., from Dunster St. to Plympton St. and some various plots by the river.
NO OFFICIAL athletic contests had been held since President Lowell suspended them after the declaration of war in 1917. The Game therefore wasn't held in 1918-19. But after the Armistice, winter teams reported as usual.
The hockey team practiced on the Charles River rink, which became the finest in Boston after the destruction of the Boston Arena. Though the open air facility provided no storage place for clothes and skates, the continued cold weather assured excellent skating.
In January, the Student Council voted the return of normal athletics, and everyone in the College was encouraged to turn out for some kind of sport. Many of the old expenses had been eliminated, like the southern trip for the baseball team and prolonged Red Top for the crew, so the institution of permanent athletics could benefit from the savings.
The winter was a fine one for the Harvard Hockey Team. They beat Yale 4 to 1 at the Brooklyn Ice Palace. The Elis were outclassed in every branch of the game. The 7-2 victory over Princeton left the Crimson undefeated and the undisputed champions of the East.
Lawn tennis had withstood the vicissitudes of the war better than any other sport, and as spring returned, undergrads pulled on their white flannel trousers for a quick set on the windy afternnoons.
The war had changed the College, program as much as it had changed its appearance. The Army imposed a trimester system that confused everyone. The first two trimesters ended with hour exams while the final one ended with a final exam. Trimesters proved such a burden that Harvard switched back to the semester system for 1919-20.
The exodus of Harvard professors to the Front for "reconstruction" left many courses bracketed in the catalogue, especially in the German Department. Many of the professors were serving on relief missions and boundary dispute conferences.
Chester Noyes Greenough '98, professor of English, inserted a three-and- a-half week study of Military English into English A, and a week later he was answered by a petition from freshmen protesting the program.
Many upperclassmen were horrified by the radical nature of the protest. The CRIMSON responded:
"The Freshman class has selected an unfortunately thoughtless method of presenting their case since yesterday's petition was the first word of any dissatisfaction. The better way would have been to call the attention of the Department to the matter before resorting to a petition."
In the middle of the spring term, the Boston Elevated Railway Co. lowered the rates of a ride to Park St. from 8c to 5c. Apparently to took too much time to count the pennies. The Federal Railway Commission set the price of meals on interstate rail-roads at $1.25 a plate, thus assuring that Californians would no longer have to fast on their four-day trip East.