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The publication of the Register today, more than two months after necessity required its appearance, presents an old problem again and discredits a new solution. Two years ago the Student Council, in response to an obviously unsatisfactory situation, abolished the undergraduate board and placed the Register in the hands of a professional editor. The first year of the new plan saw the Register issued on December 18, an improvement, even if slight, over old conditions. This year the relapse to the accustomed delay brings the problem back again, more aggravated than before.
The difficulties of compiling such a volume as the Register are of course great; but that they are such as to require four and a half months time is denied by common sense and by past experience. In 1921 an undergraduate board brought out the Register on October 28, a feat which stands as a permanent indictment against delay.
The failure of the present order is apparent; the need of a remedy no less so. The attempt of one editor to compile the Register single-handed in his spare time is an absurdity the only logical result of which is its present appearance on January 8. Either an editor who can devote his full time to the work, or a board of several members is necessary. Nor is the publication for profit of a volume whose circulation seldom exceeds one thousand an easy undertaking. Both difficulties suggest the advantages of the earlier non-professional system.
But if the professional plan is to be retained certain changes are desirable. The new haphazard supervision by the Council should be replaced by more effective control. If necessary, it ought not to be impossible for a professional editor to complete that part of the volume containing the record of the previous year in the late spring or summer, as well as the soliciting of advertisements, leaving only the directory of names to be completed in the fall.
The usefulness of the Register, early or late, is beyond question, but that usefulness is greatly enhanced by its prompt appearance early in the college year. Its present status is a standing reproach to the Council as well as a serious inconvenience to the University.
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