It is impossible to take a light view of the attempt of fifty members of the Freshman class to break up an American Legion parade on Thursday night. "Boys will be boys," but they are admitted to college on the supposition that they are growing up and can at least simulate adult behavior. Tomfoolery such as took place on this occasion has no place at Harvard and Freshmen will have to learn this, even at the expense of their college standing.
Moreover, University officers have the right to ask that undergraduates refrain from acts that will bring widespread discredit on Harvard and make their task more difficult than it already is.
But after Thursday's incident it is plain that the Cambridge Police Department is only too eager to help undergraduates bring discredit on Harvard.
Years of experience with major and minor college outbreaks have given the local force an uncanny knowledge of how best to get undergraduate goats and how worst to handle undergraduate groups. Student-baiting has become an art, a highly specialized though somewhat contradictory phase of law enforcement. And Thursday night the force outdid itself.
Boston awoke yesterday to read that Harvard hordes had wantonly attacked a lot of little children; that a Legionnaire had taken four Bursar's cards; that a Legionnaire was demanding prosecution; that the Commander of Post 27 was asking Harvard to apologize.
Boston did not know, possibly, that their reporters' only source of news was the Central Square desk sergeant; that a Cambridge policeman had made the four arrests (and had arrested, inevitably, the wrong men); that a Cambridge policeman was asking the pound of flesh; that the Post Commander was another Cambridge policeman.
The Freshmen acted immaturely, but infinitely more childish was the performance of these grown men, for whom the combination of a war uniforn and an officer's badge proved so intoxicating. Now that the annual game of Cops and Robbers is over and the cops have won, the undergraduate body would like a bit of peace and quiet.