The Path to Public Service at SEAS


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By suggesting to the House secretaries that debates be organized between the Houses, members of the Debating team have pointed the way both to a natural extension of debating and a desirable strengthening of the intramural system. The Debating Council has longe sought an outlet for candidates who cannot be fitted into the relatively few Varsity teams chosen, and the University is steadily seeking to shift emphasis from inter-collegiate activities, to the Houses. House debating is a solution twice blest.

The University has pursued a policy of not so salutary neglect toward cager fledglings who troop into the Union with the hope of continuing careers started in high school debating. The enthusiasm of well attended meetings of the Union Debating Society dissipates before the University's stony refusal either to appropriate money for an adequate coaching staff for upperclassmen, or to assign Public Speaking instructors to a task essentially within their province. Thus the traditional coma of Harvard debating is due not to lack of undergraduate interest, but to official indifference.

Clearly then something more than the approval of House secretaries will be necessary to convert dignified common rooms into an arena for political debate. Coaches will have to be provided. If House debating is to take root it must be coached--and this may require the University to give debating the same financial support it so generously extends to other intramural activities.

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