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INDY-TURNED-GALLUP POLL

A summary of views, commentary and sometimes comedy compiled by The Harvard Crimson editorial staff.

By Noah Oppenheim

Those enterprising folk at the Independent have done it again. We at Dartboard are pleased to herald the arrival of the 1997 edition of the undergraduate survey. Filled to the brim with startling revelations concerning student life, we can hardly tear ourselves away from the two-page spread of gathered facts. Did you know that only 15 percent of students use the Web as a news source?

We at Dartboard were particularly intrigued by the fact that a whopping 90 percent of those belonging to an exclusive club (a Final Club, the Signet, the Pudding, etc.) claim to have had sex within 24 hours of responding to the survey.

Without question the most fascinating aspect of this year's survey is the impressive analytical work of Indy staffers. They point out that the University's refusal to release statistics concerning the "religio-cultural" affiliations of students leads to "a slew of rumors regarding the religious composition of the student body--most notably, the chatter about 30 percent of undergraduates being Jewish." We at Dartboard are grateful that the Indy has put to rest this apparently notable chatter. We can all now rest easy in the knowledge that only 16.5 percent of our fellow students are actually of the Hebrew faith. The late President A. Lawrence Lowell, class of 1880, would be horrified that numbers have climbed even that high, but at least the crisis is not as bad as the gossip mill would have had us believe.

Of further interest are the results of the sexiest professor contest. After a lighthearted discussion of student favorites, the Indy calls our attention to a more somber matter. We are informed that all of the female professors combined receive fewer votes than Baker Professor of Economics Martin S. Feldstein. Indy staffers seek to explain this disturbing result by suggesting that "the lack of female professors at Harvard offered fewer choices, or that standards for sexiness differ by gender." We at Dartboard would like to suggest some alternative explanations, less rooted in deep sociological phenomenon. First, perhaps Martin Feldstein is just really darn sexy. Or, maybe most female professors are just plain ugly.

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