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The article which we reprint from the "Dickinsonian" this morning, touches upon a subject that may in the future become one of the great college questions. It is well worth the reading, for though the subject that caused its publication has little interest to us, yet the question therein shown in so clear a light concerns us as nearly as it ever can Dickinson College. To put the matter in its plainest light it is this: A student finds himself in difficulty, a difficulty which has nothing to do with his studies. The faculty take up the case and try to inform themselves accurately as to the student's position, in order to judge him. This has happened enough within the last five weeks to warrant one in enquiring into the position of the faculty towards such a student, All possible witnesses are interrogated, but, as the "Dickinsonian" says, "it is very seldom that a witness is found who will tell all that he knows." What are the faculty to do? Shall they use their judgment in default of anything else? They have done so lately, and it is safe to say they are not themselves satisfied with what they have done. It should be distinctly remembered that the members of the college are here for scholastic instruction, and as in school the teacher must keep order, so the faculty must use the same secondary care over the outside life of the students. But they are not here to sit in judgment on a man who may commit a fault, to try him, and finally acquit or convict him. But where to make the distinction? here lies the difficulty. As the University is now conducted, they certainly have the right to investigate certain matters, and how are they to tell when the case is proper for their hands and when not?
The "Dickinsonian" offers an alternative. First, that witnesses be compelled to give testimony, and secondly, that the faculty give up every care of the students except in scholarship. The first is practically impossible, be cause for one reason, a student who feels that some one is trying to compel him to speak against his will would be all the more likely to refuse, and, also, because then the undergraduates and the instructors are at once pitted against each other in the old hatred which, thanks to the liberalism of recent years, is fast passing away. But the second course. When we come here to college most of us are between nineteen and twenty years of age, and if we are not old enough then to take hold of the world as a man should, it is likely that we never shall be. Why should the faculty have the direction of our action beyond the lecture-room? There must of course always be rules regarding the care of the buildings belonging to the University, but what rules or power beyond that?
The "Dickinsonian" asks if this is impossible. We answer, no; and venture to state further, that at the end of not many years ahead of us Harvard University will become a university in fact. And that it will simply be the care of the faculty to attend to the studies of the students, and to let the rest fall upon the shoulders of the men themselves.
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