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"NATURAL PROPORTIONS"

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Whether the tutoring schools have grown out of their natural proportions was the question posed by the Student Council for investigation by its committee. The report seems to have answered it. If two out of three men occasionally, and one out of four arts and science concentrators habitually, make use of non-university facilities to obtain their instruction, then the Council's conclusion that this is a "pressing problem" is correct.

In tackling a controversial subject which has long been sidestepped, the Council merits praise for a certain degree of courage, and in placing comprehensive data before University Hall, it is rendering an important service. But when it attempts to answer the question it raised--what should be done about it--the Council put itself into a hole. Very little can be done about it. On the one hand there is the traditional freedom which Harvard gives its students to study or not to study, and thus to educate themselves. On the other is the undeniable fact that this freedom is abused by many and consequently, the logical, but highly dangerous, desire to recommend that students be denied this freedom.

The crux of the matter is that the normal undergraduate is lazy and if, for one reason or another, he can afford to let the tutoring school do his work for him, he probably will. As long as the net educational result is the same in either case, he should by all means be allowed this opportunity. Most of those utilizing the schools are probably not affected one way or the other, but a certain percentage of the college is entirely dependent on them. These men fail to take advantage of the opportunities offered them and abuse the freedom which should be devoted to more worthwhile ends than loafing. It is these men, and these only, that should be dealt with.

University Hall has a valid check through the Dean's office and his tutor on any upperclassman. Without any great changes within the University and without attempting to attack the schools, it would be quite possible to request such individuals to do some work or leave. For the great majority of undergraduates who do not fall into this extreme category, the measures suggested by the Council,--such as a better adviser system. reorganized courses, closer contact in big courses between instructor and student--would probably return the "pressing problem" to its normal proportions.

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