From 18 to 21 In Six Easy Steps

Once upon a time, a freshman friend of ours had a problem. Here he was at Harvard away from his parents for the first time. The alcohol possibilities were endless. No more furtive sips of mommy's martini or daddy's daiquiri. At last a beer he could call his own.

Freshman week things were fine, but then--the moment of truth arrived. Registration, when the University inaugurated birthdates on bursar's cards. And with it the alcohol policy that accepts only bursar's cards as positive i.d. at any campus party in a public space.

Suddenly the future looked all too dry to our freshman friend. No more beers he could call his own.

But our intrepid Yardling was not daunted. He tried the local liquor store, using his California license, acquired in New York. The Pro said no. He tried the local supermarket, using his Columbia i.d., acquired at Phillips Exeter Academy. Broadway bagged him. And he tried local bars, using a fake moustache, acquired at his best friend's 10th birthday party. The Bow and Arrow shot him down.

But ingenuity prevailed. After all isn't that what college is all about?

Our freshman friend reverted to some tricks of the high school trade and started thinking about how to buy or make a fake Harvard i.d.

True, he hadn't gotten around to reading the Handbook of Students, page 85 to be exact. If he had, he would have seen the administration's warning to students, "Any student who transfers or abuses the University identification card is subject to College disciplinary action." Nor had he heard the words of Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 who has said the Administrative Board will take such offenses seriously.

So, he persevered, heedless to these warnings. This story might have had an unhappy ending, but seeing as this is only a fable--kids you might not want to try this at home; then again you might--no police record or discipline awaits him at the end.

He found that so far, no Harvard student has developed the technology to create a bursar's card from scratch. Or if they have, they did not tell him. Apparently, the embossing on the i.d. card and the computer bar code are difficult to duplicate.

Therefore tampering with an existing card was the way to go. He tried several methods and here is what happened:

Step one: Get a new i.d.(See figure 1.) This was absolutely vital because he needs that bursar's card for the next three years.

New i.d. cards are available from the i.d. card office in Holyoke Center. He just told them he lost his i.d., batting his eyelashes in that innocent way he did when his mother entered his room just as he was putting out a cigarette or stashing the Playboy under his pillow. It cost him $25, but what are parents for? He charged it home.

He was careful to alter his old, not new i.d. The University changes the last digit of replacement bursar's cards and accepts only the most recent number.

Our freshman friend was suprised to discover that not many of his peers had undertaken this process. According to David R. Womback, i.d. office supervisor, this year the same number of students as in past years have come in for new cards.

Step two: Get a new label. (See figure 2.) Fortunately enough for our freshman friend, this, like most other necessities of Harvard, was available at the Coop. Avery Label Company makes the requisite three inch by one-third inch label and our friendly neighborhood bookstore stocks boxes of these.