The Student Volunteer Work is one of the natural effects of the influences increasingly in operation, of late years, at Harvard. As study becomes ever freer and more invigorating, and the appeal to purpose more effective, the horizon of the student broadens and his pulses quicken with a desire to be of some account to his fellow men. The turning of the thought of the time more and more to the welfare of the masses is doubtless an influence from without, affecting in this same direction the university and the student The result, thoroughly inevitable and legitimate, is an unaffected humanitarian impulse, sustained in one man or another, as the case may be, by varied personal, moral, or religious motives.
This Student Volunteer work, therefore, is simply a cooperative effort by young men at Harvard to meet the problem thus created: to get hold of this thing called charity, philanthropy, social service, most simply and effectively,- to secure a real adaptation between it and the conditions of college life. The new activity must help, not hinder, the people or the causes that we venture to touch, and must enrich, not impair, student life.
A committee of representative students, a number of professors and graduates as advisers, and a director,- one of the graduate advisers, first called in as a volunteer, then paid a salary to enable him to give more of his time to the work: these constitute the machinery for responsible action. The advisers and directors are selected on the ground of their acquaintance with charities and their interest in Harvard and its students. The only "plant" is the hospitality of students, professors, college societies, and the University itself, whose doors are thrown open, as occasion may require, for our varied purposes,- the office hours of the director for consultation with students, the committee meetings, the conference of workers, and occasionally a public meeting.
A student who wants to do a bit of charitable work, or religious work among the poor, has but to call on the director at Grays 17 between nine and eleven o'clock any Tuesday morning to secure a personal and confidential interview. It may take ten minutes, or half an hour, or perchance more than one interview, for the director to deternine what he would advise the student to do, and to prepare him for an intelligent start in the work recommended. His experience, temperament, tastes, special talents, studies, health, future profession and place of residence, require to be taken into account. If a young man offers to give more time than seems wise, he is discouraged from overtaxing himself; if he is too distrustful of him-
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