Most of the extra-curricular (nonathletic) activities of the College are regularly open to Freshmen. In addition to those mentioned here, there are others private to the first-year class. For additional news of Freshman life see page 13.
To every man entering Harvard there will be afforded the opportunity for participating in the numerous outside enterprises which annually attract any ambitions Freshman anxious to get something out of College besides academic distinction.
These undergraduate activities fill the need felt by many for gaining during student days the experience and knowledge of executive responsibility which they may expect to aid them as graduates. Not a few of those who have been energetic in their attention to extra-curricular interests have found it to have been well rewarded. In many cases the acknowledged leaders of an undergraduate Class have gained their broad friendships through such pursuits. President Roosevelt himself has said that he remembers his work on the CRIMSON rather more vividly than his studies.
Harvard is fortunate in being able to offer as varied a list of extra-curricular activities as could be found in any institution in the country. The space allotted does not permit a detailed description of all the clubs, organizations, and fraternities that are scattered throughout the College and Graduate Schools, but suffice to say that nearly every student can find among the list some group whose interests parallel his.
There are, of course, the clubs concerned more or less directly with College work--the Cercle Francais, the German Turmwaechter, the Circolo Italiano, economics, historical, and sociological societies. Other men find common interests in the social service work done by Phillips Brooks House, while still others are attracted by the Mountaineering Club, the Rifle Club, the Flying Club, the Student Union, sponsors of the political left center, and the various musical and religious societies.
Harvard has a capable Dramatic Club which presents several successful plays annually and offers interested men an opportunity to gain experience in the field of the theatre.
In addition to these clubs there are the more specialized activities such as athletic managerships. Competitions for these posts enable their winners to travel with the teams, earn the regular numeral and letter awards, carry the responsibility of seeing that the squad catches the right train, etc.
Requiring with athletic managerships the most competitive work are the periodicals, which offer perhaps the best chance for the undergraduate to do creative work. The CRIMSON, Advocate, and Lampoon form the traditional trinity of publications. Others include the Guardian, magazine of the social sciences, and the Monthly, a literary compatriot of the Advocate. Regular competitions are held for election to the boards of all publications.
In the category of clubs one might also mention the "social" organizations of the upperclassmen, notably the Hasty Pudding, which stages an annual musical comedy.
Such are some of the general activities. Freshmen again have others specially opened to them, such as the Red Book or class book. But always one must be careful before entering whole-heartedly, into the work of an extra-curricular activity that his regular college work is of a passing grade. Otherwise a few misguided efforts, and the whole castle is sent tumbling.