There are few undergraduate institutions which profess a more necessary function than the Student Advisory Committee, and, as far at least as this year is concerned, few have fulfilled their functions with more intelligence or greater success. In that process of orientation which is so essential to the assimilation of a thousand new students, the advice which well-directed upperclassmen can give to Freshmen needs neither a sophisticated superiority nor the absence of a healthy indifference.
The release for publication by the Committee of a few of the reports which have been inaugurated this year seems to have evoked a mild protest. It is true that this protest comes not from the Freshman class, but rather from upperclassmen whose discreet susceptibilities have been wounded. But it remains a protest.
It is feared that the meagre details in the reports form sufficient identifying evidence to make certain Freshmen the objects of public pillory. The fact that a man is out for crew or for the Dean's List, commendable as it may be, is hardly rare enough to ensure popular fame. Nor can the publication of such criticisms go far toward breaking down any spirit of confidence which may be necessary to the functioning of the system. Had the facts been of a confessional nature, revealing characteristics hidden from the sight of all except the privileged advisor, the case would be different. Long cigarette holders and side burns are hardly secret vices.
The reports were issued by the Committee, and published by the CRIMSON, in the hope that they might make evident what the Advisory Committee has been striving for, a more human and a more beneficial relation between advisor and advisee than that which is produced by selling to the Freshman his own radiator. Those who have seen more than this are, in all unfortunate probability, those who wanted to see more.
The charge of sensationalism must remain absurd. Perhaps the protests of upperclassmen may be explained by resentment at any tentative attempt to invest the Freshman Dormitories with those attributes which have for so long been the monopoly of the Gold Coast. But anyone who finds sensationalism in the mild comment of the reports in question betrays a purposeful search that does him more discredit than the reports could do to any Freshman.