STUDENT COUNCIL'S WORK SHOWS AN IMPROVEMENT
Annual Report Outlines Reforms of Past Season.--Activities of Sub-Committees.
I have the honor of submitting the following report of the work of the Harvard Student Council for the year 1914-1915. Owing to a change in secretaryship in the middle of the year, no report was made at mid-years; this report will therefore include the work of the Council for the entire year.
The Nominating Committee appointed in the spring of 1914 met shortly after the opening of College in the fall, and made nominations for the 24 elected members of the Council. At the first meeting of the entire Council the following officers were elected: president, W. H. Trumbull, Jr.; vice-president R. R. Ayres; secretary-treasurer, W. H. Claflin, Jr.; executive committee, M. J. Logan, H. A. Murray, W. Blanchard, W. J. Bingham. After W. H. Claflin left College at mid-years, H. Francke was appointed secretary-treasurer.
Perhaps the most important accomplishment of the Council during the year has been in connection with the oral examination. After the Council had expressed itself opposed to probation as a penalty for failure to pass the examination, certain men were appointed to take the matter up with the University authorities, in co-operation with the Committee on Scholarship. The plans discussed by these men with the authorities were finally adopted by the Faculty. The chief provisions of the new scheme are as follows: Men who have not passed the oral by the middle of their Sophomore year shall be obliged to study either French or German during the remainder of that year under the supervision of a tutor provided by the College. This work shall not count towards the degree. Men who have not passed the oral by the end of their Sophomore year will be given the alternative of taking either an oral or written examination at the beginning of the Junior year, before they are put on probation. Although probation still remains the penalty for failure to pass the examination under this new arrangement, nevertheless students are given a much fairer chance to prepare themselves for it, and consequently failure to pass the examination will be more to their own discredit than it was before. A further recommendation made by the Council to the College is to the effect that men on probation for failure to pass the oral should be given more frequent opportunities to take the examination.
The Council made the following recommendations to the Athletic Committee in regard to the awarding of insignia: That an unrestricted "H" be awarded to the winner of the intercollegiate golf tournament; that a crew "H" be awarded to the members of the crew that won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley, England; that the insignia "H W T" be awarded to members of the the wrestling team who compete against Yale or who take part in two meets during the season, if no meet is held with Yale.
In view of the extensive discussion among the undergraduates on the question of serving liquor at class functions, the matter was considered by the Council. Proposals were made to it by undergraduates to the effect that the question be put to a vote according to classes every year; this proposal was to take effect through a constitutional amendment to the class constitutions. After due consideration, it was decided that the class constitutions already provided adequate means for dealing with this question. Special meetings of the class can be called by a petition to the president signed by 25 members of the class to discuss any question.
The University Register, published by the Student Council, is now organized on a firm basis. It is now got out by the Register Board, composed of a president, vice-president, business manager, managing editor, and advertising manager. The president and vice-president are appointed by the Council, while the business manager and the managing editor are chosen by competition.
Twenty-one competitions for manager-ships have been carried on according to the rules governing these competitions. A new rule made this year provides that competitions shall last one-half of the regular season of the sport, or at least six weeks. A petition was made to the Council that the president of the Musical Review be made an ex-officio member of the Council. The petition was turned down on the ground that the paper was not of a sufficiently representative nature to warrant its adoption. An attempt was made to have the Christmas vacation lengthened. On consultion with the authorities, however, it was found that the only possible method of doing this was by having no vacation on October 12 and on February 22.
The sub-committees appointed by the executive committee were as follows
Committee on Scholarship.--C. H. Smith, chairman, A. Fisher, D. Kimball, H. L. F. Kreger, and C. Laporte.
Committee on Publications.--F. Graves, chairman, R. Sanger, B. P. Clark, R. D. Skinner, C. H. Smith, E. H. Foreman.
Committee on Probation.--E. D. Brandegee, chairman, J. W. Farley, C. C. Little, and ex-officio undergraduates.
Committee on Reception of Visiting Teams.--H. A. Murray, chairman, K. Apollonio, D. C. Cottrell, C. F. Damon, R. B. Frye, J. S. Fleek, H. Francke, H. R. Hardwick, W. B. Pirnie, W. H. Trumbull, D. C. Watson, K. B. G. Parson, R. Harte, C. A. Coolidge. (Has been enlarged).
Committee on Religious Activities.--H. Francke, chairman.
Committee on Publications.--J. J. Storrow.
Activities of Sub-Committees.
As it was the opinion of last year's Council that there were too many sub committees, two committees, one on athletics and one on dramatics were not re-appointed this year, and their functions were turned over to other existing committees. Owing to the inactivity of the Committee on Publications during the present year, the executive committee recommends that this committee be not reappointed in the future unless a special need for such a committee arises.
The achievements of the Committee on Scholarship have been the most important. As already stated this committee was chiefly instrumental in bringing about the new method of administering the oral examination. It has also made arrangements for a series of lectures to be given in English A, under the direction of the Department of Education. The purpose of these lectures is to teach proper methods of study to the Freshmen. Plans, which are, however, not complete, provide for a course in English composition for Sophomores who did not attain the grade of B in English A, and who are consequently not eligible for any existing course in English composition. Further plans recommend the publication by the Publishing Office of a special pamphlet, containing complete data as to prizes that are open to competition.
The committee on the reception of visiting teams has been doing a valuable service to the College by increasing the friendly relations between Harvard and other colleges. The work of the committee has aroused much favorable comment.
The committee on Religious Activities has co-operated with the Board of Preachers and the President in arranging a satisfactory list of preachers at the College Chapel. It also made recommendations in regard to the special services held in Chapel during Holy Week.
The purpose of the committee on probation is to create a more pronounced sentiment against men's getting on probation, and to help them from getting on probation. This year the activity of the committee has been restricted to the problem in relation to the oral examination. However, I think that the possibilities for constructive work along this line are considerable, especially through the means of co-operation with the new Scholarship Service Bureau of the Phi Beta Kappa.
The chief work of the Committee on Organization has consisted in the keeping of the Student Council Date Book. To serve its purpose fully, the Date Book should be a complete catalogue of all the events of College interest; and to bring this about, it must be more broadly advertised than it is at present.
One great difficulty in carrying on the work of the sub committees successfully is that there has been very little continuity of effort from year to year. The new members each year find it difficult to pick up the thread where it has been left the year before. Accordingly the executive committee passed a rule this year that all sub committees must keep a book, containing the minutes of its meetings, and an account of all the work undertaken by it. This seems to me to be the keynote to the future development of the Council. Most of the important work of the Council is done through committees; and for the Council to grow in power, it is essential that the committees are so organized that they can act efficiently and vigorously.
A special committee of the Council has been investigating the condition of the Union. After thorough consideration, it came to the conclusion that the only permanent solution of the financial difficulties is in the Union's being relieved of the burden of taxation, as the other University buildings are. This conclusion was confirmed by W. R. Thayer, one of the trustees of the Union. The opinion