The ideal of personal and sympathetic contact between the officers and students of the University is emphasized by Professor George H. Chase '96, acting dean of the College in his article, "Harvard and the Individual", in the current issue of the Alumni Bulletin.
In his article, Dean Chase stresses the more complete realization now than ever before of the ideal personal sympathetic understanding between the students and the authorities. The developments along these lines in recent years, he says, can perhaps best be shown by tracing the career of an undergraduate through his four years and noticing the opportunities for personal contacts which come to him in the normal course of events.
In addition to the Faculty and senior advisers, whom the student comes to know at the beginning of his college career, the proctors living in the Freshman Dormitories in many cases prove helpful to individual Freshmen. Of them Dean Chase says: "We have been most fortunate in obtaining as Freshman proctors men of broad sympathies who have a real interest in the problems of Freshmen and who regard the keeping of order as the least important of their duties." By the end of his first year the student in most cases has met his tutor or an adviser from the department in which his principal work lies, and the intimate counsel and friendly advice from this source is continued throughout his college course. Dean Chase goes on as follows:
Deans Know Most Men
"The modern organization of the Dean's Office, too, is one that lays constant stress on individual relationships and the treatment of the undergraduate as an individual . . . . With this organization, however, it is possible for the Assistant Dean to know every man in the class committed to his care. The growth of the College has been so rapid that since Dean Brigg's time it has been impossible for any Dean to duplicate his record of knowing every undergraduate in College. To his Assistant Dean the undergraduate normally comes to discuss problems, and not infrequently he is summoned to discuss lapses of one sort and another. If the lapse is serious and likely to result in disciplinary action by the Administrative Board, the student is summoned to talk with the Dean of the College. In this way, in all serious matters at least two opinions are available and usually many more, for in all cases when a man falls into serious danger of having his connection with the College severed his adviser or his tutor and the instructors in the courses which he is taking are consulted and all their evidence is taken into consideration by the Administrative Board."
Vocational advice to undergraduates is an obligation met by the College through a committee of college officials and of business men which has arranged conferences and lectures at the Union on various professions and careers.
"Finally," Dean Chase says, "in spite of the often repeated statement that the College is now so large that a student has few opportunities to come into personal contact with teachers, it is a fact that not a few undergraduates make friends among their instructors and go to them for advice on many things besides studies. . . . Professors, after all, are human beings, whose capacities for friendship are not entirely destroyed by the exacting nature of their manifold duties, and the student who goes through college without knowing some of them outside the classroom is, I am sure, exceptional."