William H. Geer, former State Supervisor of Physical Training in New York, who was recently appointed direct-of of compulsory exercise at the University has announced his plans for putting the new system in operation. The organization of the work was completed during the summer, in co-operation with Dr. Roger I. Lee '02, as the result of the decision made last spring, by Corporation, the Faculty, and the Student Council to introduce this innovation with the class of 1923
Physical Examination for All.
Every member of the incoming Freshman class will be required to exercise at least three hours each week. The following forms of organized recreation may be elected by those men who pass a satisfactory physical examination: Rugby and soccer football, baseball, rowing, lacrosse, track and field sports, cross-country running, tennis, handball, and swimming. There will also be instruction by lectures in hygiene.
Shortly after each Freshman arrives he will be summoned to Dr. Lee's office and be put through a strenuous physical examination. On the basis of this test and sports which they elect the men will be divided into five groups. Group A, who are fit for any sport and elect to try out for the regular teams; Group B, who are reasonably sound, but do not elect organized Freshman athletics; Group C, who will be limited to interdormitory teams or special work; Group D, who need special work for corrective purposes, and Group E, who for some special reason are unable to exercise at all.
Once graded, "the class of 1923 will be addressed at a class meeting by the heads of the physical training department, and the method of procedure will be explained to them. Any man who desires to go out for any regular Freshman team or squad will be allowed to do so, and while he is working with that team or squad he will be exempt from any other exercise. In this way it is estimated that the regular football, soccer, track, and lacrosse teams and fall crews will care for 250 men.
Plan Interdormitory Teams.
For as many of the balance as desire it, interdormitory teams will be established at each of the three Freshman dormitories in all sports, which the College knows. These dormitories will compete against each other on an intramural basis in a system known as the St. Paul plan. Coaches and assistants will be provided to take charge of this work, so that the men will not suffer from unsupervised exertion. In the fall and spring this will take the great majority of those men not engaged on the regular squad. Should there be any left-overs who do not want to participate in any game there will be classes where those less experienced men may learn whatever sport they desire.
All Available Accommodations Will Be In Use.
In order to provide accommodations for the greatly increased number of men who will be exercising, the department of physical training will commandeer every available inch of Soldiers Field suitable for outdoor sport. As much as possible the men will be kept outdoors, for the director believes in the value of open air as a complement of exercise. In the winter time the men will have the use of Hemenway Gymnasium, Randolph Gymnasium, the Baseball Cage, the Dunster swimming pool and its squash courts. Thirteen squash and racquet courts will be available in Randolph Gymnasium after repairs now under way are completed. It is hoped that it will be possible to erect a temporary Freshman gymnasium directly behind Standish Hall on a large tract recently acquired by the University and plans for its construction have already been submitted. The Winter sports will include ice hockey, swimming, boxing, fencing, wresting, squash, and racquets.
New Building to be Erected.
In addition to the present accommodations listed above a temporary Freshman Athletic Building is being constructed on Holyoke street, opposite Standish Hall, to be ready for occupancy about the middle of November. It will contain a large room, 46 by 80 feet, for handball, basketball, and other indoor sports. There will be two smaller rooms, each 20 by 30 feet, which will be equipped for fencing, boxing, and wrestling. Under these rooms, artillery equipment is to be stored. Shower baths, lockers, and an office complete the interior of the building.
There are to be two outdoor handball courts with concrete floor, one at each end of the building. These courts will be used in preference to those indoors, except during inclement weather. The building will cost approximately $40,000.
Lectures in Hygiene Also.
In addition to a required three hours of exercise per week, there will also be a series of fifteen to twenty hygienic lectures for the Freshmen, attendance at which will be compulsory. At these lectures various health authorities will demonstrate and explain the fundamental values of physical welfare.
To assist them in carrying this extensive program to a successful conclusion , Dr. Lee and Mr. Geer have secured the services of a skilled staff of assistants. The right-hand man of the organization will be Daniel J. Kelly, who was previously assistant to Mr. Geer in the New York Department of Education. Mr. Kelly attended the Worcester High School a number of years ago, and was there captain of the baseball team for one year and of the football team for two. Later he played on the baseball and football teams at the Springfield Y. M. C. A. College, being captain of the eleven there his senior year. He will have particular charge of the dormitory work.
Other assistants of Dr. Lee and Mr. Geer will be Derrick C. Parmenter '13, now one of the football coaches; W. Haines, recently returned form overseas, where he was in general charge of the special training battalions for gassed, wounded, and shell shocked men of all classes, and Carl L. Schrader, for years in charge of the Hemenway Gymnasium exercises.
Additional Expense of $15,000.
The expense of this new department, outside of apparatus and new facilities, has been estimated by Dr. Lee at $15,000 a year. This item of expense was particularly referred to in President Lowell's recent letter to the heads of the Harvard Endowment Fund Committee, in which he outlined the more pressing of the University's needs.