Professor Francis G. Peabody spoke last night in Sever 11 upon the subject, "College Standards of Duty." College standards are more artificial than those of the outside world, and are often directly opposed to them. Not long ago the petty larceny of sign stealing was encouraged by college opinion, and deceiving instructors was not regarded as dishonest. In the progress of time, there has been much improvement, and the general sentiment of college has become much manlier and more sensible. The growth of athletics has assisted considerably in producing this change for the better. There is no more conservative body than the undergraduates of a college. They are slaves to tradition, and think that because a thing has existed for some time it must always continue. Therefore all change is slow, but when a move is once made, the effects are very lasting, and this is as true of right influences as of wrong ones. Students are too apt to regard academic life as something different from life after graduation-they think that when they leave college they will start on a new career-but the record once made will affect a man throughout his after life. Pessimism, aestheticism dilettanteism, are all modes of looking at life peculiar to the college world.
As the classes increase in size, there is a general tendency toward narrowing the circle of each man's intimate acquaintance, where once every classmate knew every other; now there are many who do not even know each other by sight. This is much to be deplored, and whatever throws the students together should be encouraged. The Conference Meetings have this end in view, and are therefore made very informal. At the end of the hour Professor Peabody invited suggestions upon what he had said, and a number of questions were asked and answered.