The challenge issued by the Socialist Club to Professor Carver at least has the charm of originality so often absent in the activities of undergraduate liberal groups. Such societies, whether under the label of Liberal Club or any other cognomen, are composed mostly of students who want to act and express themselves freely without the restraint of conservative tradition. It must be admitted however, that the members are more interested in their own independent attitudes than in the reforms they advocate. The invitation to Professor Carver, whether accepted or not, will reflect favorably on the members of the Socialist Club and will give them the desired appearance of striving for those great principles to which they are dedicated.
There are two theories as to the sphere of activities for such clubs. The first and more passive one of having lectures on controversial questions and social problems is perhaps the saner and more beneficial method. It satisfies the desire for tolerance and free speech, but on account of its very passivity and sanity it fails to give the true radical a sense of striving towards the goal which will arise from the new order. The second method consists in actual participation in the reform movements by mass meetings of protest, presentation of petitions, or even furnishing bail for less fortunate or discreet colleagues.
This year the Harvard Liberal Club has confined its activities to a series of excellent speakers and by so doing has attracted a larger element in the University many of whom would have been repelled by its rather sophomoric outbursts of previous years. The Socialist Club has been the organization to which the more actively inclined have gravitated and their attempts in this line have been noted for really constructive intentions, not the usual tearing of hair and frenzied demonstrations of extremists. This division of functions between the two clubs would seem to prophesy a successful future for them both as outlets for the more progressive tendencies among the students.