With opportunity for practical field work in penology coincident with a series of lectures on juvenile delinquency, probationary work, and relief laws in Massachusetts, Phillips Brooks House begins its thirty-seventh year.
This is a new departure amplifying and extending the work of the Social Service Committee. Small groups will study and discuss various aspects of these problems under the direction of members of the Massachusetts State Civil Service. Investigations into prison conditions and participation in reform work will afford practical application of information acquired in conference.
Work by the Social Service Committee has become increasingly important. Great progress has been made toward eliminating the peculiarly aloof and patronizing air college men so frequently display when engaged in social service activity. In the not so distant past the security of their own future insulated their minds to any relative application of the distress encountered to their own lives and position in society. Direct contact with the results of unemployment insecurity, and poverty has brought today greater realization of their importance and position to the average undergraduate.
In settlement houses is opportunity for coaching athletics, dramatics, for teaching music, English and civics to naturalization classes, for leading discussion groups, organizing boys' clubs. Last year approximately one hundred and twenty-five undergraduates were actively engaged in some form of this work.
Special effort will be made this year by the Chairman of the Foreign Student Committee, Edward T. Ladd '38, to integrate foreign students with the normal life of the college. Informal dinners in the Houses and at the Union have proved successful in recent years and will be particularly emphasized. Following initial effort on the part of the Committee valuable and interesting friendships have been made.
During its first five days of operation the Information Committee on the ground floor of Brooks House has answered the questions of more than eight hundred perplexed individuals
"I hate my roommate. What shall I do?"
"Why are the Language Requirements?"
"Is the Cambridge 'Y' clean and cheery?"
These questions and countless similar have been answered by the members of this committee ably chairmanned by the all-knowing Schafer Williams, 3Dv. A carefully selected list of recommended rooms available in Cambridge boarding houses is also provided by this committee.
The Speakers Committee supplies speakers for all possible types and sixes of audiences. Women's Clubs, Rotary Clubs, church and school groups request speakers on subjects varying from current events to discussion of the niceties of butterfly collecting.
Posteards will be soul to all Freshmen having signified an interest in Brooks House work giving appointments when they may consult the various committee chairmen to discover where their particular interests and abilities lie. During the next two weeks, a series of nightly trips will afford an opportunity to visit Boston settlement houses.