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Student Council Differs From Similar School Organizations

Acts as Critic And Legislator; Makes Reports on Social and Educational Problems


Besides President Sullivan the 1938-30 Council consists of Robert M. Bunker '30, treasurer, J. Spence Harvin, '39, secretary, Cieveland Amory '39, Oilver P. Bolton '30, Claronce E. Boston '39, Charles L. Burwell '39, Morton L. Freed '39, Robert L. Green '39, F. Austin Harding '39, James Tobin '39, Mason Fernald '40, Theodore L. Hazlett Jr. '40, Frederick Holdworth '40, James D. Lightbody '40, Douglas Mereer '40, and Phil C. Neal '40.

Last spring a body of seventeen Juniors and Seniors was chosen to serve as the Harvard Student Council for the coming year. Nine of the men were elected by vote of their respective classes; eight additional members were appointed, so that this body might unify the undergraduates by representing each House, the out-of-House group, and the commuters.

This representative organization has various powers and duties which qualify it as executive, legislator, reporter, and critic. It occupies a somewhat different position from that of like bodies to which the Class of 1942 has been accustomed at school.

The Council is in charge of class elections, appointments of committees, supervision of undergraduate activities, support of charities, and co-operation with the college authorities in all questions concerning the undergraduates. It is not necessary here to outline the routine duties and powers of the Council, but rather to explain those functions which directly influence the lives of students in Harvard College.

Numerous Reports

In past years the most valuable work of the Council has been in the reports of committees on social and educational problems in Harvard College. These reports, while they are never recognized as all-conclusive or as a panacea, have given assistance to the officers of administration in shaping the recent developments in the College.

Past Council investigations helped, at least in a small degree, to establish the House Plan, the tutorial and general examination systems, the Reading Period, changes in course requirements, the Temporary Student Employment plan, and the present system of intramural athletics.

Teaching vs. Research

The most significant undergraduate report of last year was made by a Council committee on the question of the basis--relatively between teaching and research--for Faculty promotions. In the same period a committee from the Faculty itself was studying the problem, Thus is it indeed valuable when the administration can have these two approaches to such a problem.

The same Council committee presented a supplementary report on the University budget and the distribution of funds among the Departments. Such study had not been made for some years; the full co-operation of President Conant made it possible.

Eye-Opening Report

Since the report shows the shift of student enrollment from the older "standard" fields of the Humanities toward the Social Sciences and the absence of a proportional shift of funds from one Department to another, it may prove a salutary "eye-opener". The Council hopes that many new students in the College will express an interest in the College will express an interest in the reports which may influence the course of their education at Harvard; copies of Council reports may be consulted in Phillips Brooks House.

1942 Has Representative

Each year a member of the Council acts as its representative in charge of Freshman affairs. In this manner a direct relationship with the Class of 1942 may be obtained. The representative for the coming year will be Douglas C. Mercer '40. He will attend the meetings of the Freshman activity attend the meetings of the Freshman activity groups and of the Union Committee; he will assist the class, individual and collectively, in many ways.

The orientation of incoming students is a very pressing problem for every educational institution. No completely satisfactory method has yet been found to insure that the Freshman receive advice and encouragement adequate for a satisfactory, harmonious, and short period of orientation. The members of the Council will be glad to assist in every possible manner; they will welcome all suggestions, questions, or complaints from the Class of 1942. The President of the Council will keep office hours, 9-10, Monday to Friday, in Phillips Brooks House, and will enjoy meeting members of the Freshman Class.

Council Centralizes Charities

You will soon be asked to contribute money to the Council budget. The present system has been carefully developed in the past few years. The Council provides for the regular financial support of class activities and publications, of the Freshman Class in particular.

Furthermore, it makes all donations, on behalf of undergraduates, to local charities in Cambridge and Boston, and to such national organizations as the Red Cross. It gives roughly three thousand dollars to Phillips Brooks House fund. It provides for a number of scholarships for deserving men who are unable to meet a term bill. Thus one purpose of the Student Council pledge system of contributions is to centralize the charitable work of Harvard undergraduates, to aid the worthwhile causes, and to relive students from undesirable solicitation throughout the year.

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