The subject of compulsory exercise for students has been attracting much attention of late and much has been written on the subject in the college papers. Such a system is in vogue at Amherst and will soon be introduced at Cornell. The Amherst plan includes regular gymnasium work for the sophomores and freshmen, and has proved itself both successful and beneficial. That some such plan here would lead to good results cannot be doubted. With our large gymnasium such a plan is practicable here, if anywhere. The large number of men in each class would only allow of this system being practised upon the freshman class. There it would do the most good. All freshmen would become thoroughly intimate with the advantages of the gymnasium and a desire of continuing the good work thus inaugurated would lead more than at present to follow it up throughout their course. The chief complaint would be that such a system being compulsory would be irksome and cause discontent. This is true; but many men, especially those just entering college, do not realize the importance of this training, and compulsion is the only way to bring them to know its benefits. The system might be made pleasanter by having only a general superintendence exercised by Dr. Sargent or an assistant, the men of the different squads to be under the direct command of leaders or captains chosen from amongst themselves as the other athletic captains are. This would relieve them of the idea that they were going through a college exercise, while the general superintendence would keep them up to the mark and prevent shirking. This plan, with three hours of regular work each week, would not fail to turn out a much stronger and better developed set of men at the end of every year. This addition to the regular curriculum, not being brain work, would be but a slight extra burden and might be made to fill up some of the spare hours between the regular recitations, the gymnasium sections being the same as those for the class room.
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May 06, 2017