In a letter published in the "Harvard Alumni Bulletin" of December 18, Mr. F. R. Stoddard '99 stated that at Commencement last year his class sat next the class of 1924 and he was amazed because "the majority of the Senior class seemed to be short in stature, frail of build, round shouldered, and wearing glasses."
Mr. Stoddard went on to emphasize the importance of physical fitness for University students. Speaking of the failure of Crimson athletic teams he said, "Get a better type of Freshman and the victories will follow." He continued with the statement that physical fitness is necessary for an alert brain as well as athletics.
Poor Postures Being Corrected
Steps in the direction advocated by Mr. Stoddard are being taken by the Department of Physical Education according to Mr. N. W. Fradd of that department. Men with poor postures are being helped to correct their faults by a system of exercises and examinations.
The work is handicapped by inadequate facilities, but is nevertheless being improved and broadened so as to help more men. Mr. Fradd stated that requests are coming in from the different graduate schools to give their men special exercises. At present only the Freshmen and a small number of upper classmen and graduate students can be taken care of. However, after the mid-year examinations when the Freshman course is over, Mr. Fradd intends to run a series of corrective classes for upper classmen and graduate students. All Freshmen graded D in their physical examination are compelled to take these corrective exercises. About 30 percent of Freshmen usually have to join Mr. Fradd's class. When the facilities are enlarged the department can take care of more men.
Yale Faces Similar Conditions
Conditions similar to these at the University are being faced at nearly all the leading colleges of the country. Yale especially can be compared to the University in this respect. The University of Illinois has put in a new program of compulsory physical training for all students, but this could not be done here even if it were deemed advisable because the University has not the necessary equipment to care for such a number of men.
Efforts are being made by Mr. Fradd to have many of the eastern preparatory schools which send their students to the University cooperate with the Physical Education Department in order that the men will have a start in the exercises before they become Freshmen.