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Having concluded yesterday that the best policy in regard to allocating the applicants to the various colleges is one of even distribution, the problem resolves itself into discovering how this can best be accomplished. Of course, it is impossible to prevent some colleges from surging ahead temporarily, but the more complete the equalization is the easier will be the distribution the next year, and the more successful will be the system in the long run.
Two possible methods present themselves. The first is to make a careful check-up of every applicant, recording his scholastic, his athletic, and his social standing. The mass of statistics would then be tabulated, and each college would receive a mathematically exact proportion of the more and the less desirable men. Merely to describe such a scheme is to demonstrate its infeasibility. Not only would an adequate consideration of these three criteria drive the distribution committee to insanity in a week, but there would be innumerable other factors entering in--particular scholastic interests or fraternities, for example--that would throw the most meticulous calculations out of balance.
Obviously, then, any attempt to preserve an exact average in a particular year must be abandoned; the other method must be employed; the colleges to be made as equally desirable as possible. To a certain extent this has already been done, in that the masters and fellows are on an equally high plane in each unit. Where there are applications based on the hope of individual work with a particular fellow, they will probably even off and should be granted by the committee. But for the other criteria in the students' minds which are not and can not be equalized--such as location and existing social prestige -- some compensation must be made. Some extra inducement must be offered for the less popular colleges.
This is a case where flexibility in applying regulations is an absolute essential. It should be clearly understood that groups applying together for the less obvious choices be given preference so as to stand a better chance of not being scattered. For the new Timothy Dwight College this will be particularly important. For here, despite the fact that it is not the farthest away from the center of the University, until Silliman is built applicants will fear isolation. It might well be desirable in this case to assure thirty or forty selected men admission as a group.
If such reasonable modifications of the system can be combined with a judicious inspection of the list of applicants for each college to prevent any obvious disparity, allocation can be made to the satisfaction of the vast majority. A hope for anything better is a pipe-dream. Yale Daily News.
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