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Besides a considerable number of letters, the Committee was fortunate in getting about 350 daily themes on the topic of the University Club. Here again the evidence is representative of all sections of the University, and gives the best insight into the social condition at Harvard, as reported by the students themselves. The prevailing sentiments are discontent with the present situation, and a desire to have a remedy applied. The students complain of isolation : of the lack of esprit de corps ; of “ Harvard indifference,” which they attribute to the crowded population, socially unorganized; of the lack of personal acquaintance with their instructors and governing officers, because there is no opportunity for informal contact outside the class-room. Many of the writers illustrate the situation by reference to the lack of interest in the athletic teams; the students do not know they have no special chance of knowing – their athletic representatives, and so they are about as much interested in a Harvard team's victory, as the average citizen of Boston is in that of the Boston Baseball Club. One writer says that though he attended ten football games last autumn, he knew by sight only three members of the Eleven.
Among the replies there is a small percentage of objections, which fall into two classes. 1. A very few men announce frankly that they are unsocial, or are content with the present system. 2. Others believe that the social situation is so bad that nothing can help it: the latter reason, it may be observed, offers an unanswerable argument to the advocates of the University Club.
Your Committee have also heard from many graduates, nearly all of whom approve of the scheme: first, because it should be of benefit to the students ; next, because the graduates themselves, when they happen to be in Cambridge, will be benefited; and, thirdly, because they believe that every tie which unites graduates and undergraduates also strengthens Harvard. A few have been heard from who, while admitting that if it could succeed the plan would be excellent, doubt whether it be feasible.
Your Committee have naturally inquired into the social system in other universities, in order to see how far we can be guided by their experience. At the University of Michigan, which ranks next to Harvard in numbers, nothing has been done; but we are informed that Class and College spirit are weak, and that the want of both is seriously felt. Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania can give us no help, because their conditions differ too widely from ours. Yale, however, which has 1,150 fewer students than Harvard, has already a University Club which, although not nearly so comprehensive as that required here, still recognizes the need of wider bonds. In spite of high fees ($15 entrance, $30 annual dues), this University Club embraces about twenty
per cent. of the Seniors and Juniors of the Academic Department, and of the Scientific School Seniors - who alone are eligible. We learn, further, that the secret societies and fraternities, which have always dominated social life at Yale, own about $300,000 worth of buildings and land. It is doubtful whether the property of the Harvard social organizations represents more than $125,000. When we turn to the British universities, we get facts which may
be of great use to us : for in Oxford and Cambridge the problem of sudden growth and the sudden extension of the Elective System have not had to be met. The rate of growth there being slow, the social organism has easily adapted itself to gradual changes. For 80 years Oxford and Cambridge have each had a Union, originally founded as a debating society, and in time expanding into a club, with a meeting hall, reading, writing, smoking, and lunch rooms, and a library. Nineteen twentieths of the graduates of Harvard who revisit Cambridge have to wait in a car station or a tobacco shop: Oxford and Cambridge men, on the contrary, find a welcome in their respective Unions. Cambridge last year had 2,895 students, of whom more than half (1,465) belonged to the Union - and that in spite of the fact that the dues are about $18 a year. At Oxford during the first fortnight of this autumn's term 350 new members joined the Union. The Cambridge Union's building is inventoried at £18,000. Similar Unions flourish at Durham College, at Edinburgh University, and at Trinity College, Dublin. In view of the fact that English University students have very strong social bonds in their college residential system, the support which over fifty per cent. of these give to their Unions, where they enjoy University acquaintanceship, is very significant.
In brief, therefore, your Committee find (1) that the sudden, enormous growth of Harvard has resulted in social conditions which a large number of the students pronounce unsatisfactory now, and which threaten in a short time to destroy College spirit ; (2) that thirty-five per cent. of the students declare themselves ready to join a University Club; (3) that the experience of the English Universities, where social organization has adapted itself to a more gradual increase in numbers, proves completely the feasibility of such an institution ; (4) that our graduates, so far as heard from, almost unanimously favor the project.
Your Committee, being further requested to make suggestions, recommend that steps be immediately taken to lay before the alumni the need of a large University Club, and to solicit subscriptions therefor. There should be a handsome building, in a central situation; it must be large enough at the outset to accommodate 1,000 members ; it must be begun without delay, because if the rapid increase in numbers continues
VOL. IV. - NO. 15. 30
anabated there will be 7,000 students in Cambridge ten years hence. It must, first of all, furnish its members with certain definite conveniences at the lowest possible cost; doing this, its influence as a social unifier will be exerted spontaneously in the only healthy way. There are hundreds of students now at Harvard who care nothing for small and exclusive societies, but who would support a club which gave them reading and writing and billiard rooms, a library and a restaurant; there are hundreds more who would prize the opportunities for good-fellowship which such a club would offer. Such an establishment would be the centre of the social life of the students ; it would be a convenience to graduates, who would doubtless revisit Harvard more often if they were sure of a pleasant shelter; it would enable students to meet older men, or to put up and entertain guests, or to receive distinguished strangers, (like Irving, or Jefferson, or the English Team), whom they had invited to Cambridge; it would be an informal rendezvous for students and those instructors who are most deeply interested in them : in short, it would be worthy of the great University which Harvard has now become.
Owing to the unsatisfactory conditions described above, a considerable minority of students already depart from Harvard without feeling any attachment for the institution; if no remedy is found, this minority will soon grow into a majority. We believe that the extinction of College spirit will mean both for the individual students and the University a loss which no mere gain in numbers nor improvement in education can compensate. That a University Club would help to counteract this tendency cannot be doubted, and it should be supported by all Harvard men who wish to see Harvard inspire in her students more affection than a clerk feels for the business college where he learns bookkeeping.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS,
In the discussion which followed, views were expressed by H. L. Higginson, '55, C. F. Adams, '56, Lieut.-Gov. Roger Wolcott, '70, ExGov. Wm. E. Russell, '77, Speaker G. v. L. Meyer, '79, F. W. Thayer, "78, T. C. Thacher, '82, H. E. Warner, '82, W. H. Coolidge, '81, R. W. Emmons, 2d, '95, G. C. Adams, '86, R. H. Stevenson, '97, J. H. Perkins, '98, Malcolm Donald, '99, and J. D. Greene, '96. On motion of W. E. Russell, ’77, with an amendment by H. E. Warner, it was voted that the chair appoint a committee of ten, with power to increase its number, and to take whatever further action it may approve towards soliciting subscriptions and securing plans for a building.
The new Committee of Ten, with whom the project now rests, consists of C. F. Adams, '56, chairman; H. L. Higginson, '55; G. C. Crocker, '64; J. B. Ames, '68; Wm. R. Thayer, '81, secretary ; H. E. Warner, '82; T. C. Thacher, '82; Wm. Endicott, 3d, '87; T. N. Perkins, '91 ; and J. D. Greene, '96. This Committee voted, at its first meeting, to send copies of the above Report to the Presidents of Harvard Clubs throughout the country, with a request that they distribute it, and bring the matter to the attention of the alumni, either at a dinner or meeting, as soon as possible. The Committee hopes that by March 1 it will thus have been able to hear from a large number of graduates, who by advice or suggestion may help it in its work.
Wm. Roscoe Thayer, '81, Sec.
THE SUMMER SCHOOL OF 1896.
In addition to the courses which are already made known, the circular of the Summer School for 1896, which has just been issued, contains the announcement of additional instruction in the departments of ancient languages and the fine arts. One of these is a six-weeks' course in Latin for teachers by Mr. C. P. Parker; the other in the Principles and History of the Fine Arts, by Mr. Richard Norton. The special aim of Mr. Parker's work will be to give teachers and those intending to be teachers of Latin, a training in the methods which should be followed. It may, however, afford other persons an opportunity to extend their knowledge of the language. Those only who have some elementary knowledge of the subject can be admitted to the class. If it appears that this instruction meets a sufficient need, the committee hopes in 1897 to offer similar work in Greek. — The course in the Principles and History of the Fine Arts will consist of lectures and illustrations. This year the instruction will be especially devoted to Greek Art; while the class will be under the charge of Mr. Richard Norton and the greater part of the instruction will be given by him, Prof. C. E. Norton will give certain of the lectures. This course, also, is essayed in the hope that it may prove helpful to persons who may intend to teach the Fine Arts ; it is, however, expected that the class will be resorted to by others who do not intend to teach. - In revising the list of courses, the committee has been guided by the opinion, which now rests upon a broad foundation of experience, that the work of the Harvard Summer School should be devoted to the interests of teachers. Certain courses which were given last year, but which did not appear to serve that end, have been omitted from the list, while those above noted are to be essayed.
N. S. Shaler, s '62.
Preparations for Spring. Athletic Erpenses : 1894–95. The baseball team was left last Receipts.
$40,280.08 spring in an unorganized condition,
Baseball Club ......
7,884.41 and it became necessary this fall en- Boat Club .......
4,228.19 tirely to reorganize the sport. A Athletic Association.
Lawn Tennis Club. number of graduates, prominent in
1,725.35 Freshman Football..
1,268. 20 baseball, were called together, and in
835.65 pursuance of their advice James Dean, Freshman Crew (including loan on '97, was chosen captain, and F. W.
bond of $760.80).
Interest, etc... Thayer, '78, and L. A. Frothingham,
290.00 '93, were appointed an advisory com
$61,146.25 mittee. A call for candidates has re- Expenses. sulted in the appearance of an unusu
Baseball Association.............. 7,958.62 ally large number, and the prospect
10,180.97 for a good nine is bright. Mr. Thomas Athletic Association..
3,286.89 H. Bond has been engaged to teach
Lawn Tennis Club..
2,211.21 Freshman Football.
1,144.09 the principles of baseball to all stu
855.16 dents who care to learn. He is not a Freshman Crew....
3,149.24 professional coach for the 'Varsity Carey and Locker Buildings 1,281.82
2,715.78 team, but occupies a similar position
3,996.20 to that of Mr. Lathrop in another
51,947.09 branch of sport. It has been decided
Old debts (1893-94.)...
8,401.72 to form a College nine to play through Balance surplus..
797.44 the season, with a separate manager
$61,146.25 and schedule from the 'Varsity. The
Fred W. Moore, '93. 'Varsity will play against Princeton at Cambridge on May 30 and June 18.
Dotes. At the close of the football season Edgar N. Wrightington, '97, was A game with the Boston Athletic chosen captain, and Mr. Lorin F. De- Association, Nov. 13, in which both land coach for next year. The ac- elevens failed to score, and the annual counts of the Graduate Treasurer game with the University of Pennsylshow a large reduction in the expenses vania, Nov. 23, in which Harvard was of the team during the past season. beaten, 17 to 14, closed the football
A race has been arranged for the crew, with Cornell, Pennsylvania, The Freshman eleven defeated the and Columbia. The details have not University of Pennsylvania Freshmen yet been made public.
at Philadelphia, Nov. 16, by a score J. H. BEALE, JR., '82. of 12 to 4. The teams were :