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The second educational question submitted to a general vote on Monday was the suggestion that the written general examination for candidates for distinction be held at the end of the Junior year instead of at the end of the Senior year. And this proposal, like the first, was defeated by a slight margin in the undergraduate vote, although it was sustained by a bare margin of ten in the faculty poll. Again in the result may fairly be called inconclusive, but on this question the reasons for the large disapproving vote are obvious enough.
The faculty cast 131 votes against the proposal and 141 for it, and it seems fairly certain that those who disapproved did so because they believe preliminary divisionals in Junior year would make Senior year an anticlimax. As one professor wrote on his ballot: "Life is real, life is earnest, and its goal is not a loafing Senior year." That Junior divisionals would bring about this result may be seriously questioned. The Student Council Committee drew up a very large program for distinction men in Senior year, and if the opposing faculty members had this in mind (as they must have had to vote intelligently) their verdict is certainly the highest praise that has yet come the way of the college loafer.
Undergraduates voted against the proposal by a margin of 755 over 618. Their opposition seems to have been dictated by a belief that Junior divisionals as suggested would entail more work. Why so many of them should be concerned over this possibility, even granting their premise, is something of a mystery since a good part of the opposition would necessarily be immune from the regulations that govern distinction.
The Freshmen voted two to one against the plan, and the Sophomores opposed it in the ratio of seven to five. But much of this opposition must be discounted, since the average Freshman and Sophomore does not know what a divisional examination is and is hardly qualified to pass judgment.
The real purpose of the plan came from the two upper classes who have had sufficient experience with the tutorial system to appreciate its problems. A close analysis of the figures indicates therefore, that the intelligent reaction to the proposal was rather favorable than unfavorable. With an affirmative vote of 618 there is sufficient support at least to warrant a plan to give candidates for distinction the option of taking the written general examinations in Junior year if they prefer.
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