Tonight the first trials will be held to choose the team that will represent Harvard in the coming debate with Yale. Our declining reputation as successful debaters makes it absolutely necessary to get out this evening a large enough crowd of men to insure the choice of a powerful and representative team.
Against Princeton our recent record has been woeful indeed-four consecutive defeats in as many years. Although more successful against our Yale opponents, we are no longer looked upon as leaders in the art of argumentation, in which our pre-eminence had always been attributed to our acknowledged leadership in academic affairs. Certainly Harvard undergraduates are no less scholarly today than in the past; but they have lost sight of the splendid training that participation in an intercollegiate debate affords. Debating at Harvard is in a dangerous rut; its supporters are no longer representative of every side of Harvard activity; they are rather drawn from a limited class, whose interests have been with debating from the start.
Only by a general awakening and invasion of our inbred debating circles can Harvard ever hope to regain the leadership. General interest is not entirely dead. It requires but a little stirring to arouse us to our duties and opportunities once more. The trials are tonight, and tonight we must make the start.