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The November number of the Beta Theta Pi magazine, contains an article on Harvard, written by Mr. H. W. Winkley, a graduate of the class of '81. While an article of this sort written for the information of those who are utterly unacquainted with the college is always more or less in the nature of a guide book, still it is interesting to note at times what impressions a graduate has formed of his own college and also what things strike him as peculiarly characteristic of the college and worthy of mention.
Mr. Winkley introduces his article by calling attention to the important bearing of the dormitory system on the social life of the college and proceeds to give a "guide-book" description of some of the principal dormitories. In connection with the matter of the expense of living at Harvard Mr. Winkley says: "Harvard has often been called an expensive place, and not unjustly so, in comparison with other colleges, among the leading items of expense being room-rent. Few rooms rent for less than sixty dollars a year, and in the better class of buildings, like Matthews, Weld, or Holyoke, the average is from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars for the school year. Beck Hall rooms rent at from four to six hundred dollars for one suite unfurnished. There is every variety displayed in the furnishing of these rooms, from the plain necessities of life to the most elegant and costly furniture. On the whole, the taste displayed is very good, a large proportion of the apartments being expensive in their appointments. One of the finest rooms is insured for five thousand dollars, and there is one other which is even more expensively fitted up. It is not at all unusual to expend one or two thousand dollars in the furnishing of a room." Mr. Winkley calls attention to a custom, which we must contess never to have observed, except in rare instances.
"The number of students at Harvard renders it impossible for one to be acquainted with all, and a universal rule of etiquette is to introduce a man entering one's room to all those present. This rule is absolutely necessary, and is so strictly carried out that a man is frequently introduced to friends, and in some cases even to his own chum."
The writer must have been thinking of times that are passed when he says:
"The Natural History and Philological Societies and the Finance Club, While having meetings in which subjects of interest are discussed by members, offer their greatest attractions in the courses of lectures which are given under their auspices. Those, also, are usually interesting and well attended." We suppose these societies still exist, but no visible evidence of their existence has been offered to the public for some time. Mr. Winkley gives a great deal more information about Harvard but we will close with the following extract. "As to the immoral customs of Harvard, it has been the writer's privilege to see the inside life of most of the New England colleges, and it is said with pleasure that, in an intercourse with Harvard men for the past five years, there has been observed less of immorality than in the average smaller college. If the evils of intemperance exist at Harvard-as to a greater or less extent they do exist in all colleges-the average of temperance is far greater than one would suppose."
"But each man in Harvard is his own master, and if he lives fast it is of his own choosing; for every man can find good friends of his own stamp in the multitude of students attending the university."
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