To the Editors of the Crimson:
At a meeting of the Class Day Committee with an especially appointed committee of the Corporation several chages in Class Day were discussed. The Corporation believes that Class Day has out-grown the customary exercises. The principal fault was found with the "Tree Exercises." The danger to life and property in erecting the enormous stands in so small an enclosure and against the buildings, they consider, is great,- danger from fire during the whole time that the stands remain in place,- danger to life in case of a panic during the exercises. Of course the danger of fire could be minimized by having watchmen; but the danger of a panic can not be obviated without greatly reducing the attendance. Over 5000 people are now crowded into an enclosure which allows each one a space of little over two square feet. 4000 of these people are seated on the stands about the edge and very closely packed together to allow an open space in the centre for the exercises. The Corporation believe that this is too much like tempting fate to create a panic. Many causes of panic, such as fire, falling of seats, sudden sickness, etc., were enumerated. These possibilities are certainly worthy of consideration.
In considering the exercises themselves the following objections were brought out and urged quite strongly. It was said,- (1) that the height of the flowers necessitates too strenuous competition (2) that concerted action, usually of societies, is almost necessary in order to get them (3) that comparatively few seniors take part in the scramble (4) that a change of clothes is absolutely necessary, (5) that clothes are often torn off in the scrimmage, (6) that injuries occur which are displeasing to the audience and students.
Of course, the objections against the danger from the crowded enclosure might be met by reducing the number of people and enlarging the exits; or by moving to another tree with plenty of room about it as, for instance, one behind either Matthews or University. The character of the exercises might also be changed so that no one could find fault with them. The gathering, marching and cheering are certainly pleasing features and the scramble around the tree many think might be changed so that individuals would have more chance of success and could compete without donning football clothes and without the danger of injury. Finally it has been suggested that some other exercise should be substituted which would tempt more of the class to participate.
It has further been urged by the committee of the Corporation that the entertainment of the Senior class should be extended over a longer time than it is at present; in other words that the spreads, class exercises, etc., which are now pressed into about 12 hours should be distributed over two or three days. To make such a scheme a success it is obvious that there must be some special exercises in which the class as a whole take part and which would form a central programme around which spreads and other private entertainments could group themselves. Many plans have been suggested necessitating a programme something like this:
First Day-Exercises in Sanders Theatre followed by a class reception in the whole building of Memorial Hall.
Second Day-Possibly a Yale baseball game in the afternoon, tickets distributed to the Seniors, dancing in Memorial and the Gymnasium in the evening and illumination in the Yard.
Third Day-Tree exercises in the afternoon followed by a Senior dance in Memorial Hall with boxes reserved for parties of six or eight Seniors.
Private spreads might come at any time during the three days. Of course the details of all these matters can be arranged later if they are decided upon.
The main objection to Class Day at present which were suggested by the Corporation were (1) that the day is too crowded with entertainments, and (2) that the class as a class do not entertain enough together. There are now so many spreads in the time allowed that the guests, obliged to rush from one to another, do not and can not enjoy them. The spreads now given on Class Day eve are cited as evidence that the men themselves now believe that Class Day is too crowded with entertainments for pleasure. Then again the senior's time is so taken up with a multitude of friends dependent upon him for everything that he has no opportunity to enjoy himself. It is evident that there are about fifteen girls to every man and this seems to show the need of more time so that the fellows could give more attention to each of their guests.
The second objection points to the present state of things in which outside of the "Tree" exerbises, the Yard and Memorial entertainments, there are no general class affairs. The day has ceased to be a day of pleasure for the fellows who cannot entertain privately and this, it seems, ought to be changed. More general class entertainments should be inaugurated while the men who choose can still keep their private spreads as well.
That these objections are well taken in many ways, it will be evident to all, and it also seems as if plans similar to those suggested above might help to remedy the difficulties. The extension of the exercises over two or three days would at the same time relieve the pressure on Class Day and also give more chance for the class to entertain as a whole.
(Continued on third pag.)