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What with investigations to determine how many hours the average "A" man spends on his studies, to discover the proportion of students who work during their college course to support them-selves, and learn other interesting facts concerning the character of the student body, we have become quite accustomed to statistical analyses of our private affairs. It no longer feels strange to learn that we are classified, grouped, labeled, tabulated, or what not, according to our amusements, our activities, out financial affairs.
But we are beginning to wonder as to just how valuable all this statistic-mongering is, after all. There are so many external factors to be considered in such investigations that error is peculiarly easy. We do not mean to cast any aspersion at such endeavors to classify the student, we merely suggest, that all such reports can only be considered in a very general light.
And, when so regarded, the numerous reports of the past year seem to establish one thing and that not very startling. President Lowell once likened a college community to a cross-section of the outside world. Such would seem to be the consensus of opinion of the statisticians although they seldom state it thus. In short, Harvard, or Wisconsin, or Yale,--or any University of like size, -- can not be called a "rich man's college," or a poor man's college or even a middle class college without violating the full character of the community. All classes-financially, morally, intellectually,--all sorts of activities, and all kind of interests can be found represented here. To term Harvard "a so and so college" is to limit the characterization to the point of fallacy. It were an economy of truth not to label it at all but to recognize that in such an institution the community of students is no more, no less, than a mirror of the world beyond the gates. Out task is to encourage others as we would anywhere. But let us have no more, pray, or privative characterization.
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