Before it becomes too late to make the necessary adjustments, the matter of lengthening the Christmas recess should be considered by the University. The present custom of allowing eleven days works a hardship upon men whose homes are in the South and West. And yet although more men come to Harvard from a distance than to any other eastern college, they are allowed the shortest of Christmas vacations. Students at Yale, Princeton, and Cornell have from five to eight days more recess than the University allows.
As at present planned the recess is to extend from December 23 to January 3. Besides being very brief, when it is remembered that for many men this is the only vacation offering any possibility of a visit home, it has another disadvantage. It does not allow time for men from the western Mississippi Valley and beyond to reach their homes by Christmas day or to remain for New Year's. And the latter is, especially in the West, almost as great a holiday as the former. To be sure, the Office often allows an extra day or two for such men, but this requires cutting, besides being inconsistent in assuming that western men can afford to miss a few hours' instruction, the omission of which would be fatal to eastern men. By extending the recess this cutting could be avoided, and the time lost would gladly be made up by all men in somewhat increased assignments.
A vacation extending from December 20 to January 5 would allow time for students to spend both Christmas and New Year's at home. Even if the University should refuse to allow this, it would seem that two full weeks, at least, could well be granted.