The reasons for opposing the abolishment of the "scrimmage" are many. Its use by many decades of Harvard classes and the many pleasant associations which have grown up with its development have established it as a custom dear to thousands of graduates and to almost the whole undergraduate body,- a custom which should not be ended unless objections which cannot be met are shown. If such objections are shown, however, mere sentimental reasons should not prolong its existence.
But such reasons, in the opinion of those who are most directly interested in the exercises, the Seniors, have not been shown. Without the "scrimmage," or some suitable substitute which has not been suggested, the Tree exercises as a whole would be entirely without point and not worth continuing. The first objection, that "dirty and offensive" football clothes are worn in the presence of ladies, will have more force when it is shown that the very same clothes are offensive when worn in the presence of ladies at public games of the football team. In neither case are the wearers of the clothes so near the spectators that the clothes need be "offensive." There has been unfortunately some small ground for the objection that the scrimmage has become, to use the extreme language of the communication, a "fight in which to pay off old scores instead of a good-natured scramble." Whatever trouble there may have been in past years has been caused by placing the flowers so high that it was necessary for groups of men to combine and struggle with other combinations in order to get them. If, as the Class Day Committee has suggested, the flowers were lowered so that they would be barely beyond one's reach when standing, there would be no need for combinations and the cause of the trouble would be removed.
When the Corporation says that in their opinion the scrimmage is inappropriate for cultivated gentlemen there is nothing to do but reply that, in the opinion of the great majority of Seniors, it is not, with the changes suggested, inappropriate for cultivated gentlemen; unless indeed a manly good natured scramble, without unnecessary roughness, be unworthy of gentlemen, and only such a dainty sweet-scented farce be worthy of cultivated gentlemen as that in which, taking his turn, he may most valiantly pluck a flower from the tree with a well-gloved hand and carry it triumphantly away.
Neither the Class Day Committee nor Seniors in general have been unwilling to see the other side. The faults in the roughness of the "scrimmage" and in the seating of the spectators were quickly recognized and acknowledged. The Class Day Committee was willing to give up the wearing of football clothes if necessary or make any possible compromise. But a compromise or any number of compromises was not enough. A complete giving up of the scrimmage is insisted upon
If the class really is in earnest in its wish to keep the Tree exercises in their present form it should not weakly allow the Corporation to make final confirmation of the committee's decision without giving public expression to its own opinion. A mass meeting of the class should be held Monday night.