Southwestern Holds Recruitment Meeting

The Southwestern Company directly violated University rules again on April 24 when the firm's representatives conducted a recruitment meeting at Phillips Brooks House (PBH), a University official said yesterday.

Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said yesterday he believes Sunday's meeting, aimed at organizing a drive to attract summer sales personnel, broke the University rules stating that students cannot represent commercial enterprises on Harvard property.

Southwestern, representing itself to PBH officials as the "Ira Wilson conference," conducted a total of ten meetings at PBH between February 3 and April 24, a PBH official said yesterday.

PBH does not allow commercial enterprises to use its facilities for business purposes and when the Southwestern representatives implied that they were a private group, they directly violated PBH by-laws, a PBH official said yesterday.

Ira B. Wilson '79, a student recruiter for Southwestern who arranged the meetings said yesterday the meetings did not involve any Southwestern representatives, and no interviews took place.


The meetings only involved students already commissioned to sell Southwestern books this summer, he said.

Epps, who said he will conduct a full investigation into the matter, termed Wilson's explanation as "an attempt at subterfuge."

"Common sense" indicates that Wilson's meeting "was a meeting of company representatives at Harvard," Epps said.

Southwestern, a publishing company in Nashville, Tenn., commissions approximately 7000 students every summer to sell dictionaries door to door across the country.

Personnel who return to Southwestern may become student managers and receive financial incentives to recruit and train others.

Although there is no direct payment for recruiting other students, the managers earn commissions both from their own sales and from the sales of the students they enlist, Wilson said.

These "financial incentives" indicate that student recruiters are active representatives of the company, Epps said.

Epps banned Southwestern from the campus in the fall of 1974 following a company recruitment meeting on University property, which, Epps said, would compromise the non-profit status of the University.