The Student Council showed good sense last night when it buried the idea of girl cheerleaders at basketball games. For if any place in this University recks with masculinity, it is the Indoor Athletic Building. A happy home of steaming showers and smelly sweatshirts, it is no place for the installation of Woman.
The plan, of course, represented a sincere effort to cheer the basketball team out of its present Ivy League inadequacies. But its suggestion set tradition on its heels and opened the doors of precedent for further female insinuation into College life. No one denies the aesthetic advantage of the female shape despite the dispute over the relative merits of crimson sweaters with white skirts or white sweaters with crimson skirts. But an arm-swinging, tumbling, jumping, bouncing female--especially of the kind that could be rounded up on Saturday nights to perform at a basketball game--offers little feast for the eyes.
In fact, cheerleaders of either sex at a basketball game are an unnecessary appendage. A game team's efforts will always bring natural, spontaneous applause from fans. But when a team is being badly beaten, half-hearted cheers elicited by organized sweater boys are as artificial as "applause" signals at radio shows.
The Band has aways been the real cheer leader at football games, with the tumblers adding more color than spirit. And at basketball games there was no organized cheering until a few years ago. Before that, a few extroverts would lead spontaneous cheering when it was clearly deserved--a much more sensible approach. The Council might follow up its veto of feminine exhibitionists by recommending that cheerleaders pack away their uniforms and return to informal, genuine cheering at indoor events.