Some one at Dartmouth has conceived the idea of making daily chapel more attractive by substituting talks on topics of the day for the usual sermons. Just why there should be a chapel problem at Dartmouth is hard to see. The authorities require attendance at some forty services each semester, presumably because they believe that the chapel, as conducted at present, has a definite place in the college curriculum. Under these canditions, one has to go whether chapel is attractive and interesting or not; and if the authorities really think, as they assuredly must, that they are giving the right kind of dose, they have no excuse for changing their prescription. On the other hand, since this desire for a more earthly diet comes from the student publication, it indicates at least a little dissatisfaction, which the powers that be can disregard or not depending on their confidence in the student's judgment and intellectual tastes.
At Harvard, where chapel is anything but compulsory, such a program would approach the ridiculous. If the most desirable thing were to get a large congregation every morning, the obvious and least objectionable method would be compulsion. Dressing up a sermon to look like a lecture, or brazenly substituting timely-topic talks would spoil chapel for those who honestly want a religious service; and the others who might go could certainly not deceive themselves into thinking that they were going to a chapel. It would be absurd to turn the morning service into a forum and delight in the multitudes be attracted by the novelty or the merit of the new system. Undoubtedly, talks on interesting subjects would bring out interested audience, but like the inescapable flowers, and so forth, they have absolutely nothing to do with the chapel.