Perhaps one of the most important questions confronting the University today, is, what is the best way to treat a Freshman class? The question has grown as steadily as have the entering classes, and has every year become more of an enigma.
It is stated in Dean Briggs's report that 37 of last year's Freshman class are ranked this year as first year men. The Dean says truly that this shows "the present method of dealing with these inexperienced persons to be still defective," but after all, is any mere method of discipline going to accomplish the whole end in view? According to the Dean's suggestion a Freshman may be made to occupy the position of a merely provisional member of the University until he has done work to warrant his stay, but, efficient as this might be in many cases, would it not after all grow to be looked upon as but another entrance requirement, which, when successfully passed, would lead to the same reaction?
It is not our intention to discourage any improved scheme of discipline which attempts to solve the problem, but to point out that what is going to make the Freshman realize his responsibility, what is going to make him attend to business, is not mere discipline, but upper-class discountenance of his failure to make himself useful. Of what good are his endeavors in athletics; of what benefit to him or any one else his ambition for social distinction, if he is on the road to probation?
Such a committee as that of sixty Juniors and Seniors, formed this year for the reception of Freshmen, can do a deal of good in this direction, and it will be a great pity if the movement is allowed to die out.
A course in wrestling, taught by an experienced instructor, has been established at Lehigh.