At this period when political, economic, and social institutions are being radically subjected to change and reform, it is important for the student of world affairs to examine these changes critically and analytically. It is safe to say that nothing stimulates such critical analysis as well as debating.
It is true that for many years Harvard has had a debating council, a formal organization whose primary purpose and interest has been in preparing for debates with other universities. But few men in college have either the leisure or the inclination to spend the time necessary for the preparation of a formal debate. Last year an attempt was made to institute a plan of inter-house debating but the idea was given little time to develop. There is, however, in the Houses a field of forensic activity which the Council would do well to foster. There would be little need for adhering to the formality of intercollegiate debates and many interesting innovations might be tried. While much of the thinking might be superficial as the result of inadequate information on the subject, nevertheless, an institution which encourages men to form judgments about contemporary affairs has a definite intellectual value.
The possibilities of such a field of activity wont unfilled last year, but started now, while the Council is in the process of organization, the plan might meet with greater success. There are undoubtedly many students who would follow with interest a lively set of debates conducted informally in the Houses.