The Late Joe College


It has recently been brought to our attention that the day of Joe College has passed. For this enlightening bit of information we are indebted to no less an authority than Princeton's own Day Edgar, writing in that self-styled "man's man's," magazine, "Enquire." According to Mr. Edgar, our conversation no longer deals exclusively with "girls and gin, football and frats," as did that of our predecessors, and the American public is even being shaken in its convictions that all undergraduates are "overdressed simpletons with the manners of a rhinoceros."

Restraint, notes Mr. Edgar, is now characteristic of our leading institutions as loud and glorified boorishness was in the last decade, and there are definite signs of a growing sense of dignity and self-respect on the nation's campus.

Mr. Edgar, who has had a fairly wide experience in writing stories of campus life, mentions one fact of more than passing significance, namely that most editors and readers prefer to have their undergraduate characters "amiably lampooned, treated as butts for comedy rather than as intelligent human beings." The reason behind this is no deep mystery. It follows naturally from the great American college custom of playing at life, of being absorbed more in the petty ripples of campus society, and in some cases campus politics, than in the really significant events which are moving the world at large. But how to stir the American undergraduate body from its tradition of cynical lethargy and push it into the outskirts of the public struggle is a problem to tax the wisdom of a sage. A not entirely hopeless problem, however. Joe College, as we have seen, has passed on, and in his time he, too, must have seemed an irremediable "evil." --The Princetonian.