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Time was when the typical freshman adviser was a Lampoon editor who faithfully cut all advisees that failed to pay due tribute to his existence. And this adviser was typical only of the interested. Most of them evidently regarded their position as a means of appearing in the columns of the Crimson. To the average freshman, his adviser remained a myth. The relationship remained an ephemeral bond, concocted by University authorities to add a savor of cordiality to the welcome accorded the first year men.
It is in the light of this unenviable past, that the report of this year's chairman of freshman advisers, W. E. Soule '27, brings a distinct sense of encouragement. One always felt that some value lurked in the system of student advisers. There seemed no valid reason why old students should not welcome new and give them comforting and needed information regarding their new environment. Yet Harvard is noted for a distinct reserve. There are here none of the college mechanism which pull the startled freshman, almost unwillingly, into the maelstrom. Moreover, other features of the University, commendable in their conception, have led to decidedly undesirable conditions. Among other things, the segregation of freshmen in halls at a remote distance from the Yard, whether or not based on plausible theory, accentuated the natural barrier between the old and the new.
At last, it seems that the undergraduates, in an organized way, no other could be effective and a little formality is unavoidable--are going to the freshman in such a manner as to be able to answer the necessary questions concerning, it may be, the new courses, concerning, it must be, the new cosmos. When last spring, it was announced that chiefly juniors would handle the advisory work, coming seniors regarded the matter quite with approval, and a new era for the system appeared in the greater freedom of the lower classmen. The hope then raised, the present report now substantiates. Advisers have gone to their advisees with more completeness than in other years, have held office hours at the freshman hails themselves.
What is completely new and what may surprise a bit, they will hand to the University office, personal impressions of their advisees. While this was unlooked for, there need be no fear on the part of freshmen that an ultimate, adverse, or categorical judgment has been rendered. No harm can come of the innovation; and there may come the advantage born of a more complete acquaintance between the University office and members of in this case, the class of 1930 and; in case of profit here, a similarly more complete acquaintance with future classes.
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