The foreigner selects his university with an eye to considerations which do not affect the average American student. Family tradition places no obligation upon him; clubs and athletics offer no special inducement; particular excellence of instruction is merely an added desideratum. The foreigner here, like the Rhodes scholar abroad, wishes above all to learn something about other standards, manners, and customs during the few years spent in our colleges. He is peculiarly receptive to every impulse, though, naturally, modest and awkward in asserting himself in the strange society in which he is placed. Behind this reticence he feels that he would really be gaining what he came for if he could count a circle of American friends, with whom he might to some extent at least participate in ordinary social intercourse.
There are one hundred and sixty foreigners in the University--the pick of thirty-six nations. They have come for the particular purpose of knowing us; how many of them do we know? Their very presence proves that we have a reputation for friendliness to maintain. But the average undergraduate is doing very little, if anything, to maintain it. There are organizations which we have instituted for the purpose of making our duty more easy of performance, but they have largely lost their significance. The Cosmopolitan Club cannot be effective without individual effort and labors, and moreover, is handicapped by a constitutional limitation of the American membership. The "language" clubs are only sporadically active. The Chinese have a club of their own, but it has no American members. Clearly, clubs cannot be depended upon.
The moral obligation is squarely up to every member of the University. It is not hard to meet these men, if you really try. And, from the purely commercial standpoint, the business value of a Chinese or South American correspondent whom you have known personally in college may be very great.
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