Monday, September 26, 2011

Wrap on the Pledge

The freshman pledge has by now gotten rather more attention than it deserved. Among those commenting on it are Virginia Postrel (Bloomberg), Andrew Sullivan (Daily Beast), Ross Douthat (NYTimes), Josh Rothman (Boston Globe), Carly Weeks (Toronto Globe and Mail), and the Edmonton Journal.

I would not have brought it up again had I not run across this priceless clause from the Constitution of the Lawrence Base Ball Club, Harvard's first "New York Rules" baseball team. The Constitution is dated November 3, 1858 (the team had played a few games in September of that year). This is the way such things should be dealt with--by private agreements, if at all: "Any member of this Club behaving in an ungentlemanly manner or rendering himself obnoxious to the Club, may be expelled from the Club by a vote of two thirds of the members present and voting at a meeting specially called."

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