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During the last two weeks the Student Council has become increasingly aware of widespread opinion among both faculty and students that the tutorial system is entering its final stage of decline. In following up these persistent rumors, the Student Council Committee on General Education has over the past few days talked with members of almost every major department where tutorial has up to now been maintained.
It has found many departments where tutorial has been cut below the maximum allowable under the Faculty ruling of last December. In some, Sophomores will in the future be excluded from tutorial; in others, the Faculty's honors candidacy criterion has been further narrowed by excluding from honors candidacy, and hence from tutorial, all men below Group III. Several departments have abolished tutorial altogether.
The Student Council does not believe that the true reasons behind these moves have been made sufficiently clear. Personnel shortages, financial pressure, and lack of success of the system are the reasons most commonly advanced. But discrepancies between the actions of departments where similar conditions might be presupposed, plus information gained in personal interviews with Faculty members, have forced the Student Council to conclude that in many cases the cuts are also due to a considerable antipathy among the Faculty towards tutorial itself, and an even greater resignation to the apparent fact that, for one reason or another the system is doomed and dying.
When the Faculty voted last December to restrict tutorial to Junior and Senior honors candidates and Sophomores of Group IV standing or higher, it was done on the grounds that this limitation would strengthen the system by making it more efficient.
It now appears, however, that the Faculty's action has had quite the opposite effect. It seems to have been taken by opponents of tutorial as the go-ahead to out the system still further, while the absence of moves to revitalize the system is startling.
The Student Council cannot accept the current trend and will not accept the eventual disappearance of the tutorial tory reasons are made abundantly clear. In order to clarify the situation and in hopes that the issues will be more fully aired among the Faculty, the Student Council yesterday sent letters to more than 150 Faculty members, to ascertain the reasons for departmental actions and to discover the sentiments of the major body of the Faculty now concerned with tutorial.
This is the first step in a campaign which the Student Council hopes will put the tutorial system on a firm footing once again. The Council urges students to discuss this issue fully and freely with their tutors and other members of the Faculty. It urges students to write to its Committee on General Education at Phillips Brooks House, so that it may continue to have the benefit of student views and support
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