Today a Committee of the Student Council is spending its second day investigating the intramural athletic system at Yale. Here at Harvard House athletics have developed rapidly and more or less spontaneously in six year until they now occupy a position of importance. The point seems to have been reached, however, when a redefinition of their management is necessary.
Originally it was intended to have all House athletics completely independent of the H.F. The House units were to be self-sufficing, individuality was to develop naturally, and each House was to foster and perfect an internal organization to replace the class, fraternity, and 150 pound teams that then existed. The H.A.A. was specifically told to mind its own business and leave the pure and virginal field of intra-mural sports under the loving care of the House masters, unsullied by the horny commercialism of Quincy Street officials.
Better to accomplish this end it was recommended in the Student Council report of 1931 that athletic committees be chosen in each House. One tutor and several captains or managers were to be responsible for providing every House member with whatever facilities he desired. Coordination between the seven units was to be supplied by an inter-House athletic committee. The H.A.A. was merely asked, for convenience sake, to provide a secretary for this committee to settle conflicts over the use of buildings, Varsity and House schedules, and other details.
Much that this report envisaged has been achieved. However, inspite of their specific instructions to the contrary, the Houses have been prone to let the H.A.A. assume responsibility. Certain Houses have shown initiative in a few sports, but generally speaking they have not taken the measure of control that undergraduates in 1931 optimistically expected.
Consequently House athletics are less well organized than they might be; partly because they were originally intended to be informal and partly because the Houses have thrust the job upon the H.A.A. Two questions therefore arise: First, should House sports be more thoroughly organized or should they continue to show the delightful insouciance that marks them today when so many League games are "lost by default"? Secondly, if more organization is desirable, should the Houses assume the responsibility as at first proposed or should they simply relieve the H.A.A. of the interdiction laid upon it and leave further organization up to Mr. Bingham? No Student Council committee should be asked to decide this problem for the Houses. It can only cooperate with those concerned, act as an intermediary, collect information, and most important of all gather opinions. In the final analysis, the Houses must settle these questions for themselves.