It is a startling fact that out of the large number of men who will return to college next year only about 200 have as yet signed up for the University Summer Camp. There is no doubt that the small size of this number is largely due to the same deadly habit of procrastination that impels an undergraduate invariably to hand in a thesis in the last half-hour of the allotted time; according to the recent order of Major Flynn such men, if they wait after next Friday, will merely find themselves debarred from positions as officers or non-coms, when the new companies are organized. Their cases merit no concern.
There is also a class of men who are not planning military summer training because they have pledged themselves to war work of a different nature--work in which their time may be more effectively spent, at least for the present, than in a camp. For them there is nothing but commendation.
But the remaining group of undergraduates--those who may plan comfortable holidays at home or away from it--merit the strictest censure. The coming months will be no time for white flannels and tennis racquets. Although the arm of the "slacker law" cannot reach behind the 21-year wall the under age loafer is no less a useless dead weight, hardly "worth his feed." With every shipyard and every farm calling for men, his duty to work is imperative. Of the three months and more of vacation ten weeks should be the minimum which he should give. Nor should those who attend the July Camp feel that their duties are over in mid-August; the fate of next year's food supply will be decided during those later weeks when the crops are harvested.
The cry of "Give Your Country Your Vacation" was first raised in the recruiting campaign for the 1916 Civilian Plattsburg Camps. It should today be the motto of every able-bodied undergraduate not entering the service at once; the idler is as bad as the draft dodger. Nor can it be a question of training on one hand against war work on the other. Do both--train for six weeks for your own future call, and then work for the nation's present needs until September 23. For no man in the United States should the summer of 1918 be called a vacation.