[We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest.]
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Referring to your editorial on fencing in Saturday's issue, I think a few words may justly be said in defence of the maintenance of intercollegiate matches in what is essentially a gentleman's sport, and one which should hold a high place among athletics at Harvard.
You say that, "Very few men go out for the University team." Permit me to correct this statement,--at the beginning of the present season something over 30 presented themselves as candidates,--surely a fair number from which to select three.
You state further that, "Apparently the attractions of the game do not excite the ambitions of many Harvard undergraduates." Let us see what is done to make the sport attractive. Fencing is a sport which requires a professional fencing master, and the lessons and equipment cost each member of the team about $50 per season, which he pays out of his own pocket, for the Athletic Association pays nothing towards coach or equipment. Thus out of 30 odd original candidates but a dozen remained--simply because they could not or did not care to assume this expense, an expense the members of no other team are obliged to bear. It is, then, no longer a survival of the fittest, but of the longest pocket.
Would it not be well, then, to provide the necessary fencing masks, and give the team a fair show, before considering the abolition of the most attractive indoor sport? H. T. ERHARD '09.