The military powers of University 1 have announced a new and stringent system of demerits in order to maintain that discipline in the Corps which is essential to the success of any military organization. At first sight these regulations, as laid down in General Orders No. 11, may appear a trifle severe; military probation for a few cuts and a missing button is a rather heavy penalty. In a way such radical methods have caused skeptics to believe that the disciplinary backbone of the Regiment was in bad need of bracing.
It has been apparent, however, since the days of Valley Forge that no military program could be pushed through by enthusiasm alone. The University learned the lesson in the old days of the first Harvard Regiment; the Iron Battalion of last summer was another cruel demonstration of the same truth. Although the Corps is not yet in great need of the heavy threat of probation to preserve discipline, it is better that the rigid system be now put into force before the efficiency of the-Corps suffers by the slackness of a few eccentric members.
With the sudden initiation of the new system, a few men are sure to be sucked under. The University never learns the importance of a ruling until the effects can be studied on some unfortunate Exhibit A. Eventually, however, its strict enforcement by the heads of the Military Department--as distinguished from the Tactical Staff--should place the discipline of the Corps on the basis which Captain Shannon maintained at Barre.