The following consideration of Crimson competitions in general was written by A. R. Sweezy '29, managing editor of the Crimson. A meeting at the Crimson Building at 7 o'clock tomorrow evening will launch competitions in the News, Business, and Photographic Departments, open to all members of the Freshman class.
The present writer's connection with the CRIMSON has been entirely in the News Department, and anything that he can say will therefore be primarily from the News point of view. But it will likewise apply with scarcely less force to the Business and Photographic Departments: the differences between the three are in the form rather than the nature of the work. Whether a candidate is chasing a scoop, trying to land a big ad, or trying to get an unusual and timely picture, he will run much the same gaunt of trials and successes, disappointment and elation.
Freshmen Gather Tomorrow
Tomorrow evening the CRIMSON will open its first Freshman competitions. Perhaps it would be well to pause here a moment. Since the earliest CRIMSON days there has always been a certain glamor about the first Freshmen competition which finds no exact counterpart in any of the later contest. It is still an honor to be the first man in the class to make the CRIMSON and although the distinction may make no practical difference on the Board itself, there is a traditional respect paid to the editor who led his Freshman competition. Whether he attains any higher office or not he remains the dean of CRIMSON men in his class and in all matters of form takes precedence over his fellow editors.
Evolutionary Stages Seen
To one who has been through a CRIMSON competition himself and watched many others do likewise it is evident that there are certain regular stages which practically all candidates pass through First there is the stage of discouragement, what might properly be termed the 'danger stage.' It usually comes after the first few days; the candidate has worked hard with small success, he is jostled and croweded by other candidates who always seem to have some unwonted advantage over him. It is during this period that most candidates drop out; those who persist despite its disappointments seldom fall to achieve their goal. Then a few weeks later comes what might he called the 'tried stage.' The candidate passes through a period of physical and mental exhaustion, and again he is liable to become discouraged though not nearly so prone to give up struggle. A week or more of this experience and the candidate settles down into his late competition stride. His time and news sources are well organized, his command of journalistic style is rapidly developing and he finds himself turning off and amazing amount of work with an case which a month earlier he would have believed impossible. And it is often in this last stage that the obscure, inexperienced candidate of the first few weeks, the man who received scant notice from either editors or fellow competitions, steps out into a commanding lead.
Is Acid Test
The CRIMSON has always advertised its competitions as the hardest form of extra-curricular activity available in the University. There are two very good reasons for this seemingly strange fact. In the first place it has always been the belief of CRIMSON editors that difficult forms of activity are eminently worth while in themselves, and that a college like Harvard will always contain a num- ber of men of a sufficiently adventurous spirts and virgorous nature to respond to the call of the admittedly difficult. The CRIMSON does not attempt to conceal the nature of its competitions because it wants only those men who are willing to undertake the hardest possible form of endeavor. Then there is a second and more practical reason. The CRIMSON candidate becomes immediately upon his election to the Board a full fledged editor. And as an editor he will often be faced with situations which require a large measure of prompt and vigorous action. He may find some afternoon in the late spring that he is confronted with the task of getting out an entire paper practically without assistance; he may learn of an important appointment or death at a late hour some night when he has only his own judgement and resources upon which to rely. To fit himself for such emergencies he must under go a rigorous novitiate as a candidate