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Although the change in the tutorial system announced yesterday is on the whole heartily commendable, it rips an indefinite number of students from the motherly arms of the tutorial system and casts them into the limbo of a veritable no man's land with explusion on one side and the easy favors of the tutorial schools in the other. Those who adopt plan B, "modified tutorial instruction", will in all probability find themselves occupying as regards the staff of their department the proverbially embarrassing position of the illegitimate child at the family reunion. In fields where there is no tutorial, all men will still be at least nominally equal, but where two classes exist "B" men will soon have to get accustomed to living in the doghouse. It can be argued that such a student has made his bed and so forth. Regardless of the moralistic grounds upon which such an attitude will be explained, there is one factor in the creation of the two plans which is easily overlooked. It is this.
Attention has been focused more and more on tutorial, affecting the minds or faculty and students alike, with the result that courses now offer less than a balanced diet. In many departments the tutorial idea has taken such deep roots that classes seem to be unconsciously regarded by the lecturer as a part to which the tutorial forms an inseperable complement. In some courses one is forced to conclude that, as far as an academic education is concerned, the man on the platform looks upon the tutorial system as the backbone and his lectures as somewhat unnecessary and irksome supplements. For the best student, who makes the best tutee, this approach has just enough truth to be used as an easy escape for the less-than-top-notch professor. Obviously, for the man who is dependent on lectures alone, it spells disaster, and with Plan B about to go into effect for some it will mean disaster.
Naturally these men will get little sympathy because they will be classed, ipso facto, as dumb bunnies. Neither tutor, lecturer, nor department head can be brought to a boil about their plight and they may well land up, therefore, by being shunted off to University 4 and left to the unfortunate ministrations of those little Napoleons, the baby deans. Lest these men who, when tutorial is gone, will have very little left to turn to except Widener, drag the whole scheme into bad repute and allow it to develop ultimately into a two-degree system such as Oxford, with one man getting an education and the other merely ulcers of the stomach to show for four years in residence, immediate attention must be focused on the recently neglected problem of lecturing.
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