There is one article in the November issue of the Harvard Advocate--out last Friday--that every Harvard man will want to read; to a few Harvard men it may occasion some twinges in the process. It is Mr. Lunt's survey of the "Past Year at the Union." Mr. Lunt '09 was president of the Union for 1908-09 and it is from this standpoint that he discusses with much seriousness and force the question--"Does the Union fulfill the purpose, for which it was built?" The answer is strictly in the affirmative. The tone of the article is optimistic, although Mr. Lunt concedes that the Union has not yet reached its highest possibilities. He rightly lays much stress on the fact that the Union is the only club in the University which can be regarded as thoroughly representative of Harvard, reminding all Harvard men of its claims upon them and of the fact that the Union is a house open to all Harvard men without restriction, and a social centre in which all Harvard men stand equal. Prickings of conscience in reading the article can come only to those Harvard men who have assumed an attitude of superiority towards the Union--who have persuaded themselves and maybe have sought to persuade their associates that the Union is an institution which can meet no need of superior persons. Sooner or later in the college year every man realizes that for this or that occasion the Union is of service to him; and it is for the men, who, while not being of the Union, use it on these occasions, that part of Mr. Lunt's article is disturbing. "These few scoffers" he writes in referring to the superior people whose attitude towards the Union has been described "might well be disregarded if it were not for the fact that they are the men who don't care to join because they may only use the Union once or twice during the year and, at such times, if they throw masterly bluff and assume an honest countenance, they can easily pass for members." There is certainly no use in trying to hide this fact. The Union is thus grossly misused every year by a select body of men. Some few use it regularly without being members, though every means is taken to prevent it. The rest use it once in a while; and both seem to think it a joke, or think nothing about it. But mere thoughtlessness cannot explain it away, nor can it be given as an excuse." These men should be reached by Mr. Lunt's summing up of a true and remarkably well-written article--by the final paragraph in which he suggests that an attempt should be made to realize what Harvard would be today if the Union were non-existent. "The Union," he adds, "has taken so great a hold on us that no one can understand how Harvard students of days before the Union got on without it."
On the editorial pages there is a well-expressed note on the fatality at West Point and also almost as a matter of course some speculation on changes in Harvard economy that may be made by President Lowell. Discussing studies and methods the Advocate insists that "conditions at Harvard are such as to make the adoption of the English system or its modified form now used at Princeton impossible." Still following the more serious pages of the Advocate note must be made of "A Vindication of Warren Hastings"--a review of G. W. Hastings's book by W. G. T. F., who is convinced that Mr. Hastings has made out his case; for the reviewer concludes with an expression of the hope that future editors of the Macaulay essay may profit considerably by Mr. Hastings's monograph.
The pages in lighter tone are occupied by Mr. W. M. E. Whitelock's "The Extenuating Circumstance"; H. C. L.'s "College Kodaks"; "A Leaf from a Log," by Thorvald S. Ross; and T. W. A.'s "I Remember"; while the contributions of verse are from T. S. Eliot and C. P. Aiken. The November issue is a particularly well-balanced number, for which there should be a wide call among Harvard men all over the country if for no other reason than from the fact that first in importance among its contents comes Mr. Lunt's statement of the present position and prospects of the Harvard Union.