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.
The organization known as the Harvard Musical Clubs is composed of three clubs: the Glee Club, the Banjo Club and the Mandolin Club. After existing separately for some time, they were united in 1913 under the name of the Harvard Musical Clubs. The object of the clubs is primarily social, a number of concerts being given each year in and around Boston. The instrumental clubs are composed of men who play a number of instruments,--mandolin, banjo, banjeaurine, guitar, violin, 'cello, mandola, piccolo, traps, etc. Members are required, except in cases of men of marked ability and skill, to perform upon two instruments.
Election to the Musical Clubs is dependent upon fulfilling a certain requirement of service,-faithful attendance at rehearsals and concerts, and participation in two dual concerts with Yale; and of skill, determined by trials held at the beginning of each college year. From these trials the men are selected, who show the requisite ability, and these men after fulfilling the service requirement, are eligible for election to full membership in the clubs.
The aim of the Pierian Sodality is "to maintain, encourage and advance the interests of students in orchestral music." The organization is in two distinct parts the orchestra and the sodality.
Trials for the orchestra, open to all members of the University-not necessarily undergraduates-are held in October and March. Candidates to be retained must show reasonable proficiency in playing some standard orchestral instrument. The Sodality is a social club which conducts other affairs of the orchestra. "Any student in Harvard University possessing the requisite ability and an interest in the activities of the Sodality is eligible for active membership." However, "the membership is elective and may be conferred upon only such persons as the existing members wish to associate with themselves."
Rehearsals are held twice a week during the college year. There are also monthly business meetings and an annual meeting in February. A concert is given in Sanders Theatre some time during April. This is followed by a dinner in May.
The Dramatic Club was founded in 1908 with the purpose of giving original production to plays written by undergraduates and recent graduates of the University and of Radcliffe, and of promoting the best interests of the drama at Harvard. The chief activities consist of the public presentation of plays, usually one long play in December, and a bill of three of four short plays in April. In addition to this there are held throughout the year occasional talks by members of the theatrical profession, social teas and dances in honor of the ladies of the casts, meetings for the informal discussion of current events in the theatre, and club dinners.
Membership is of three kinds: active, associate and honorary. Honorary members are elected from persons prominent on the stage, authors and others interested in the aims of the club. Among these members are such names as John Drew, Richard Ordynski, Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, Winthrop Ames '95, John Craig and Miss Maude Adams.
Associate members are elected from the undergraduate and professional body in recognition of their interest in the work of the club.
There are several competitions by which men become eligible for active membership, such as business, acting, stage, electrical and publicity. All of these competitions will be announced in the CRIMSON and the definite work outlined at a preliminary meeting. Shortly before the beginning of the fall season an open meeting is held and the plans for the year discussed