The first Freshman debating club at Harvard was formed two years ago when the present Junior class were Freshmen. A club was also organized for last year's Freshmen, and these first two Freshman clubs were quite successful both in interesting many men in debating at the beginning of their college course and in giving them good preliminary training before they came to join the Forum or the Union. This success has been due largely to the fact that up to this year there has been a debate with the Yale freshmen at the end of the season, arousing interest in the clubs and giving the members a final contest to look forward to and work for.
Beginning with this year the advisory committee on debating has decided to abolish intercollegiate freshman debates because they attract general attention to what is apparently the debating strength of the university but really that of preparatory schools. This action leaves the present Freshman club without any final important debate to prepare for, and the time has now come when something of this kind is needed to keep up the interest of all the members.
It is obviously for the good of debating in the University to arouse the greatest possible interest among the first and second year students; for this will do much toward raising the standard of future intercollegiate speakers. In the apparent absence of other plans, therefore, we propose a debate between representatives of the Sophomore and Freshman classes. If this plan were tried and found successful it might well be made a yearly event. If, however, it should not offer the advantages embodied in the former intercollegiate debates or help in any way to take the place of those debates, it need not be regarded as a precedent.