Freshman who fall'28 receive an arbitrary 75 on their English entrance examination are forced to take an additional course, English A-1, without credit. Since the majority of men who find the first year difficult are in this group, this means that the poor student must take five courses while their mental superiors only take four.
Despite the clarity of this fault, no remedy has been taken since "it might lower the standards of a degree." The schools should give this training; there is no reason why Harvard should demand one less course for a degree, so the argument goes. Sidetracking the dispute in this manner not only fails to settle the problem but fails to hit at the root of the error.
Harvard may be wrong to admit these men in the first place but she cannot weight the burden of those admitted on insufficient proof. If a candidate is accepted, he must have met the minimum standards for entrance. Should any candidate lower the standards, he does not belong in Cambridge. To require a fifth course from a large group of Freshmen is a confession of inadequate standards and this group either has no place or that fifth course must be counted for credit. The CRIMSON prefers the latter solution.
The Freshman Report also raised the question of whether it was necessary to make English A-1 such an elementary course. Couldn't it accomplish its object of teaching men to write their mother tongue in a fairly accurate and facile manner amid more grown-up surroundings. After all, no Freshman is expected to be a complete dolt.
One section meeting a week with composition assignments should take care of this end of the problem. Instituting two lectures a week on some great authors might aid men to develop a consciousness of the art of writing and would certainly help them in their appreciation of literature. This might kill two birds with one stone, or at least seriously wound them. Secondly it would knock out the need for both English 28 and 79, two survey courses which duplicate each other in all but method.