Below are listed the various publications and organizations of the University which are of a non-athletic nature. A brief history of each is presented and also the regulations governing the respective admission to membership.
The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest of the American college Greek letter societies. The society itself was founded in 1776, and the Harvard branch, known as the Alpha Chapter of Massachusetts, was founded in 1781. The aim of the society is to gather together those men in each class who lead in scholastic attainments, and thereby to stimulate undergraduate interest in intellectual pursuits. The criterion of election is always the candiate's scholarship record.
The present system does not allow more than forty men to be elected from each class. At the beginning of each year the College Office sends to the "Junior Eight" of the previous year the names of the twelve highest Seniors, exclusive of those already members of the society. From these names eight Juniors and twenty-two Seniors are chosen. Thus the society is composed of thirty men from the Senior Class, and eight, the so-called "Junior Eight," from the Junior Class. Later in the year five more Seniors may receive election, and at the end of the year a like number of Seniors may again be admitted.
Phi Beta Kappa Standard.
Because of the competitive basis of election, the standard necessarily varies from year to year, according to the quality of the leading scholars of each class, but a man who makes the first scholarship group once, on the second list twice, is usually eligible for membership. Intellectual achievements in outside activities are always given due consideration, but can never be regarded as making up for a student's deficiencies in his scholastic ranking at the Office.
Thus the primary purpose of the Society is to give honorary recognition to the forty leading scholars of each class. In order to insure justice, the final elections of the undergraduate society are always referred for approval to a graduate committee of which President Lowell is head.
The Harvard Advocate, founded in May 1866, is the oldest current newspaper at Harvard. It is published fortnightly during the college year, printing stories, essays, verse, articles, books and theatrical reviews. Literary candidates become eligible to election when credited with five units. Long stories and essays count one unit each, and according to this standard, poems and short stories are estimated. A competition determines the eligibility of business candidates. The Advocate desires, above all, to be readable, believing that this is the surest criterion of undergraduate literary merit. The Sanctum is on the third floor of the Union.
The University has published a daily paper since 1879, but it was not until 1891 that it was given the present title, "THE HARVARD CRIMSON." The CRIMSON aim is two-fold. It desires primarily to keep undergraduates informed of the various organizations of the University; second, to preserve in the files a complete record of all University activities as a matter of reference.
To make the paper as news editor, a candidate must survive a twelve-weeks' competition, during which time he is required to search the University for news. The business management is in the hands of undergraduates chosen for their ability to acquire advertising and to handle practical business problems. There is also an editorial-writing competition. The news competitions are held for men in the last half of the Freshman year, and in both halves of the Sophomore year. The business manager's competition is held in the first half of the Sophomore year. Editorial writers may compete in both halves of the Junior year.
The Lampoon, the College comic paper, was founded in 1876. Its aim is to represent the humorous side of college life. The Lampoon is published fortnightly during the college year at the Lampoon Building on Bow street. Contributors of humorous sketches, jokes, or comic articles become eligible for election to the literary board. The business editors are elected after a competition.
The Monthly, which is published throughout the college season, is now in its thirtieth year. Six printed contributions make a candidate eligible for election to the literary board, but a candidate's interest in the paper and willingness to assist the editors will also have weight. No one can be elected who is not keenly interested in the welfare of the paper. Business candidates must solicit advertisements and subscription.
The Sanctum is on the third floor of the Union, and an editor may be found there every day except Saturday, to receive manuscripts and advise candidates.
The Harvard Illustrated has been published for several years. It is a magazine replete with photographs of student activity, and which also publishes articles pertinent to the doings of the University. It is published fortnightly at the Illustrated Office, 1289 Massachusetts avenue. Election to each of these three departments is obtained by competitive work.
The Musical Review, founded in 1912, is edited by undergraduates, with the supervision and contribution of musical graduates as well as other eminent musicians. It deals with music in a general and universal rather than a local or professional way. It comments on musical developments, particularly on new music and musical literature of importance. The requirement for election is three articles, for one of which may be substituted the equivalent in reviews.