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Student Vagabonds



The practice of vagabonding in classes as carried on at Harvard has now been adopted by Princeton and a column in The Daily Princetonian entitled "The Third Elective" has been instituted to carry announcements of the most noteworthy lectures of the day. "The Student Vagabond" in The Harvard Crimson has accomplished that same purpose for some time and has been considered of valuable aid in announcing topics of the day to students who might be interested in visiting certain classes.

Obviously, the plan offers a broad range for attending classes in which the student is interested only in the lecture for the day but would not care to register for the entire course. In this way he obtains from various courses the bits of knowledge which he desires in order to complete or fill in his general course.

"The Student Vagabond" and "The Third Elective" are doing their present mechanical duty in widening the tastes and opportunities of their readers, but beneath their outward purpose there seems to lie a suggestion of a more significant movement. This method of the student sitting in on classes when he wishes and doing as little or as much work as he desires may be a forerunner of an educational system somewhat similar to the "reading method" now utilized in some institutions. Such a system would require only optional attendance to lectures or classes and independent reading and outside work, guided however, by authorities.

Closely connected with the habit of vagabonding is the new kind of course which will probably be part of the reorganized Columbia curriculum. So-called "snap courses" will take the form of lectures at which there will be no academic requirement other than punctiliousness in attending. Half credit only will be given for such courses but no outside work will be necessary.

"A student can learn a great deal by sitting two or three times a week at the feet of a master of literature and science, without doing outside reading or other work," is the opinion of Dean Herbert E. Hawkes of Columbia who is strongly in favor of the plan. A Columbia student will be permitted to take one or possibly two such courses and it is thought that they will serve an excellent purpose.

Vagabonding is not recognized at Syracuse, at least not as an established and confirmed custom. There are probably many reasons why it cannot be widely practiced but surely there are some good lectures every week at which many visiting students could be accommodated. With the permission to publish a list of the day's or week's outstanding lectures. The Daily Orange could aid in establishing vagabonding on a larger scale in the University. --The Daily Orange.

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