The S. A. T. C. has replaced the R. O. T. C. The vast changes with which American universities begin the year 1918-19 are revolutionary. Where a year ago the academic life of the nation was becoming an active aid in the prosecution of the war, it is now a distinct part of the government's military machinery. Harvard, together with almost 400 other colleges and universities is a changed institution. This new character is to be welcomed as a notable advance in the service to the nation.
As now planned, the S. A. T. C. provides for direct Government control of the greater part of the student body. In addition, by receiving selected high school graduates each college will make full use of all its equipment and organization. A double advantage is thereby secured, in that colleges will be able to continue actively their was service, while the nation will possess a tangible, ever replenished store-house of future officer material. That the American college will not suspend its academic activities during the war is alone of immense advantage. We have seen the English and French universities go down during the last four years until now they are mere shells of institutions. Theirs was a noble service at the beginning of the great struggle, but the drain on the attendance has been an ineradicable misfortune. During the past year the American universities seemed to be moving toward the same end. Men knew that, barring a change in policy, the new draft age would not only impair a great part of collegiate usefulness, but would actually threaten the march of American academic progress. The S. A. T. C. plan has efficiently removed these dangers. The identity of the college has been made secure while its usefulness to the nation in this time of need has been redoubled.
As regards the military situation, the new organization was urgently needed. The War Department has secured for it self a group of men whom it can train as it wills and upon whom it can call at any time for needed officer material. The advantages of a standardized system of training in addition to a centralized system of control mean a great increase in our military efficiency. Fundamentally sound in theory, designed to meet the needs of the colleges as well as, of the nation, the S. A. T. C. should prove one of the most successful ventures of the war.