LABORATORY EMANCIPATION

Of all the various sorts and conditions of men to be found in every large university, perhaps none is more misunderstood' than the student who concentrates in science. Interested as these undergraduates are in problems not readily grasped by the uninitiated, they are not infrequently regarded by their classmates as rather queer specimens of humanity. They occupy, therefore, a very inconspicuous place in the organization of the student body. A few of them, it is true, have in the face of almost insurmountable difficulties proved themselves to be excellent athletes and agreeable companions. But the great majority are barred from participation in undergraduate activities by the exacting requirements of the laboratory.

If the university is to be something more than a more trade school, if it is to foster a broad education and a cosmopolitan point of view, all undergraduates must be free to take part in those phases of college life which are not included in the curriculum. The charge that the scientific mind is usually self-centered is not altogether without foundation; absorbed in his experiments, the student of the natural philosophy too often loses sight of the world around him. It should be possible to place the student in the science group upon a par with his classmates.

In the confused period of the S. A. T. C., when every man devoted his spare hours during the daytime to military duties, the university authorities were constrained to open the laboratories at night. Since the war, however, only in exceptional cases has this policy been continued. There seems to be no valid reason, except perhaps the expense, for not keeping laboratories, like libraries, open until ten o'clock. Having access to his desk in the evening, the budding scientist,--the would-be chemist in particular,--would be free in the afternoon to air his genius on the field of sport. In that this project would enable an ever-increasing group of students to enjoy their share in the advantages of university life, the additional expenditure involved should be no great objection.