THE present Senior class, by their vote to abolish the Chaplaincy, made one change in the order of exercises on Class Day. Whether this was done wisely or not, it is not my purpose to discuss, but now that the door is open for reforms, are there not other changes that can well be made, and other alterations incidental to the management of the affairs of the graduating classes, which could be made advantageously?
In the first place, it seems rather parsimonious in the College to throw so large a portion of the expense of Class Day on the class itself. Unquestionably the immediate benefit accrues to the graduating class and their friends, but indirectly the College gains, for it is brought favorably before the public, and the love for Harvard with old college-men is fostered by the maintenance of the gala-days of their Alma Mater, Class Day and Commencement. The Yard is always cleaned for Class Day, - perhaps the Class will appreciate its appearance the more if they know it is put in order with their money, - the buildings are refurbished, the entries "swept and garnished," the windows look abnormally transparent; these wonderful results are paid for from the Class-Day expenses of the Senior class. The Chapel is dressed, the Liberty Tree has its flowery girdle, the Yard is enclosed, and the Class pays the bills. In the evening the illuminations represent so much combustible if not inconvertible currency which comes from the pockets of the graduating class. The generosity of the College is exhausted in paying twenty per cent of the bill for music!
We cannot blame the College for this; at least we do not intend to, for we would fain fancy the appropriation as old as Class Day itself, and that while the classes have grown, and the expenses grown as well, the sum originally given has been maintained, and no increase made, merely from oversight, or perhaps it has never been asked for. Possibly the present Senior class will enjoy their Class Day the more from understanding their share in the transformation that ensues a day or two before Class Day, and understand why there are "necessary Class-Day expenses."
It is to be hoped that the Class-Day Committee will take ample measures to exclude the ubiquitous mucker whose habitual presence has so marred previous Class Days. For the whole day the Yard should be kept clear, and the committee is such that if they but make up their minds the Celtic element cannot enter into the procession of the Class as a disorderly phalanx, where it is usually prone to straggle.
There is another change that might well be made; the class has dispensed with a chaplain, it could well institute a new office and have a treasurer. Next week we learn the collection of class funds will be begun. There are two separate funds, - one the Class Fund, and the other the Class Subscription Fund. These two funds in '75 amounted to $20,000, and were in the care of the Class Secretary. Now, as this office in itself involves a great deal of work, and the management of the class moneys is now such an additional tax on the person under whose charge they are, it seems as if the duties might well be divided; formerly when a class consisted of only some sixty or seventy men, and the funds were only a thousand dollars or so, the duties of the secretary naturally embraced those of treasurer, but now the classes have grown to such an extent that the work of the secretary seems too onerous. Yet we would prefer to advise '77 to institute two offices, for it might imply shirking on the part of the present Class Secretary to advocate a change this year.