About the middle of this month the entire country was startled by the publication of a wholesale indictment of American colleges, and among them, Harvard, by Mr. R. T. Crane of Chicago. The extravagant language and the grossly exaggerated statistics called forth a host of editorial comment and protest. The figures were so distorted that, to all who were in any way familiar with college life, they refuted themselves.
What was more distressing however than the actual charges made by Mr. Crane was the unsympathetic attitude in which he wrote. By publishing his article he gave to many fathers and mothers in this country their only idea of college life--and his picture presented only an exaggeration of its worst side. That there is a certain amount of drinking and vice among undergraduates can not be denied. The millenium has not yet arrived. To those who are working faithfully and seriously to build up their own character and the reputation of their alma mater, whether it be Prineton or Yale or Harvard, a fair criticism is never unwelcome. Mere mud, on the contrary, is of all things discouraging. Yet the very possibility of the spreading of such exaggerations, and the harm they do must make clear to the individual student that the fair name of his University rests to no small extent on his shoulders.