Eighty-five percent of Harvard upperclassmen take part in some extra-curricular activity revealed the Crimson Questionaire distributed last Thursday, and it is House athletics and activities which are largely responsible for such a high percentage.
Of the 932 who turned in coherent responses to the poll, 816 were either House or Dudley Hall members, and 677 indicated participation in some House activity.
Athletics was acclaimed the most worthwhile activity by 179; 154 voted for publications, 41 for P.B.H. work, 36 for music, 33 for managing, 22 for studies and Student Union apiece, 21 for debating, and 20 for dramatics. Only 25 of the 800 who had taken part in an activity said they were sorry they had done so.
"C" men proved to be the most active group in extra-curricular affairs with 89% indicating participation. Final Clubmen come next on the participation list with 87% of their number in activities. Then follow House residents and Dean's List men with 86% apiece, scholarship holders with 85%, scientific concentrators with 80%, and 67% of the men on "pro".
"Because I was interested in or enjoyed doing them" was the reply which caught most votes from those answering why they engaged in activities. Seventy-eight considered them important in getting jobs after graduation, while 44 checked "because I felt I should do something which could be listed in the Album".
Among those who had taken no part in extra-curricular life, 90 wished they had as against 51 who are glad they didn't. The chief reason given for non-participation was that they could not afford time from their studies. Dean's List men, scholarship holders and science concentrators all had about the same fraction who checked this reason. "Because I was too lazy to get started" got almost as many votes, and Lab, work was specifically named by seven.
"To meet people" was most often eted as the reason why non-participants wish they had gone out for an activity. Others said they regretted missing the physical benefit to be gained from sports, some felt they would have gained more self-assurance.
Whether or not undergraduate activities tend to make the Harvard community more similar to conditions to be met after graduation stirred up many conflicting opinions, and the replies seemed to hinge largely on whether athletics or "other activities" were being considered. To this question 470 answered "yes," 269 said "no."
That the activities in which they had participated were fun and worth the time were claimed by 670 each, 293 said they were detrimental to their marks, while 140 said they were more valuable than their course work.
* * * * *
The small space given for the voters to insert their college class caused a certain amount of confusion. A score off persons checked the item, and several added comments such as "yesh man."
* * * * *
Eleven men gave as their motive for participation in activities the desire to promote House prestige. "To achieve something" and "to satisfy my curiosity as to what was happening in the Lampoon building" were a couple of the other answers.