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THE HOUSE DIVIDED

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Many who have read the extracts from the report of the Student Council Committee of Education, published in yesterday's CRIMSON, have considered Section III, concerning Subdivision into Colleges, an undergraduate attempt to rival Plato. Remembering that the "house divided" is supposed to fall, they see in this project of the Committee an excellent means of destroying Harvard. Yet upon further consideration, one can more clearly understand just what the plan implies and why it is both necessary and practical.

Harvard is not alone a New England university, it is an American university. When Dean Pound asks funds from the people for the development of the Law School he is expressing the real as well as the ideal Harvard. The university has grown with the nation, is vital because of the nation, and remains so only as long as the educational needs of the nation are best served. That a continuance of already proven policy will best serve those needs is obvious. But certain obstacles, formidable, definite, present themselves.

The college, in the first place, must remain large. Yet it also must remain efficient. To do both and continue as one unit in the present sense, is to become a machine. And culture has yet to result from the functioning, however perfect, of a machine. So there is only one possible method of maintaining the tradition and preserving the culture of less hurried years: that is to divide the college into small units under the same head. This, of course, does not mean that Harvard is to be chopped into bits and thown into the jaws of modernity. It suggests quite the contrary. For some time the freshman halls have served as a method of establishing contacts between members of the same class. Yet even these have suffered during the middle age darkness of sophomore and junior years when the class has scattered to cover until the rendez-vous in the Yard. The plan for a division of upperclassmen into college groups would destroy to a great degree this unhappy circumstance. But even more important than this, it would establish contacts between men of different classes in the proposed colleges, contacts at present the good fortune of the few. Such contacts are highly necessary. To think and to converse on a class plane implies a staticism little affected by lecture experiences. And, further, the plan would offer an opportunity for birds of a feather to fraternize with birds of a different hue. In any university, preparing its men for modern life in whatsoever calling, this is most desirable. If democracy means anything, it is more than desirable. And to those who built the college, it means something so definite as to predicate real and intense sacrifice.

Yet this like all other plans is but a plan. Not tomorrow or next week or next year is Harvard to divide in the manner suggested. Such processes like all lasting ones must be, of necessity, slow. But the start has been made already, and not alone in the brains of undergraduates or faculty. For years there has been a definite policy at Harvard to allow smaller colleges to exist under the university. The only novelty in the particular plan is that Harvard College itself would be divided for the sake of cultured efficiency which is perhaps a paradox, yet certainly a truth. And when the good to be gained from such division is as patent as deliberate considerations reveals this to be, the only real scruples must be those of wholly monitary nature.

But even in that respect, the change would not cause tremendous havoc. The present dormitory groupings, the present tutorial system, the practical system; all these are easily adaptable to the smaller colleges. Thus this section of the Committee's report is no idle vaporism or Pla tonle impossibility. It is a sane suggestion of offering a practical panacea for present ills. That it has novelty, one can easily agree. But that the novelty dwindles to insignificance before the sanity and sufficiency of its conception, one must surely admit. In this section of the report, the Committee has certainly and in no trivial manner justified its existence.

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