TUTORS VS. COURSES
No necessary antagonism exists between the tutorial and course systems. Yet in the present state, warfare is continuous and bitter. Every student must allot his time between the two. On the one side, there is the intellectual stimulus of a tutor, the joy in work for its own sake, and the risk of being fired from the benefits of college because of neglect of courses. On the side of the course system, there is the lure of honors for the bright and hard-working, perhaps a scholarship; for the slow, the assurance that he will remain in the academic folds until graduation, the assurance of a degree, and the risk of losing all the much-tooted benefits of tutors and tutorial.
No practical person could fail to choose courses. The conclusive test for him must be the danger of losing tutorial benefits anyway, if courses are not first dealt with, or the danger of losing out on well-deserved honors and scholarships. So tutors and tutorial are neglected. Courses are passed off by hook or by crook. And many a graduate has benefited nothing directly from the education which he, with idealistic and generous endowers, have paid for. Like certain types of preferred stock, the tutorial system is attended to only after all other issues. Sometimes the residue is very slight, or zero, but at least the firm does not go bankrupt.
Tutors should have more practical power. Of course some students are stimulated enough to do their work. But these are not the problems of college. They would probably be interested and alive anyway. To the other students, the large majority, more than a philosophical appeal is necessary. More power to tutors would not only be the logical outcome of the present tendencies, but would also be effective in arousing in the average student a real intellectual interest.