It is not difficult to understand the public sentiment in the matter of college hazings, "rushes" and other misdeeds. It is, perhaps, naturally expected that the college student, with his superior training and advantages, will behave with more decorum, and exhibit more "respectability," than other members of the community, due allowance being made for the proper spirit and eagerness of youth. But it is just as easy for a college student or a college graduate to understand the spirit that prompts these acts as it is difficult for the outsider to do so. The college student is usually so much of a radical intellectually that the natural conservatism of his nature must find some expression in conforming to what he considers the time-honored traditions of college and of class life. It is undoubtedly true that this same traditional class spirit, notwithstanding the emphatic reaction that seems to be going on at present in this country, is steadily losing ground and growing less and less important as a factor of college life. And this is not to be regretted; for, in proportion as the narrower spirit of class declines, a broader university spirit springs up in its place. Harvard has reached a successful mean between a too intense class spirit and a too bloodless university spirit, barring perhaps a partial survival of the former in her freshman class, one anomaly of the many anomalies of that institution at Harvard. That class spirit will ever entirely disappear from American colleges as now organized is impossible, if it were desirable; but that it should be carried to such extremes as we have all seen of late is greatly to be deplored, if for no other reason than for the sake of the good name and reputation of our colleges and college influence with the impartial public.
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