When the Student Council reconvenes tonight, it should try to avoid the error which has consistently hurt its predecessors. This error was the failure to plan and announce a comprehensive program at the beginning of the College Year. The result of this annual mistake was that group after beleaguered group got bogged down with more work than it could possibly handle. To avoid the inefficiency which comes from spreading its efforts too thinly, the Council should commit itself at once to a specific set of carefully selected projects.
The Council's tasks this year fall under three heading: First, completion of the jobs which other Councils started but did not finish. Second, service functions. Third, and most important, research and reports on questions of educational policy.
Constitutional revision is the most pressing of the unfinished jobs. It should have been completed last spring but was not. It must take a top priority now. The "Whole Man" report is another major uncompleted work. Although this will probably require two years of work, research should continue apace. It is also important that the Council follow through on its supervision of the formation of House food committees. These groups present about the only hope of improving College cuisine, since modification of the unfortunate central kitchen system is not foreseeable now.
In the second category, the most important Council service functions are the following: scholarships, class activity financing, travel information bureau, forums, and entertainment guide-bulletin. These are important but must not be overemphasized at the expense of broader educational advisory matters.
It is to the question of the research projects that Council program planners should devote greatest thought. Under consideration at the moment are three possible reports: an examination of the usefulness of undergraduate advisors for freshmen; an evaluation of undergraduate class committees; and a critique of the inter-House athletic program. The first two seem worthwhile, but the third is of questionable value since House athletic are running nicely at present.
In addition, there are two important questions which we urge the Council to consider and report on. The lecture and examination systems were treated in the Poakanzer report, but it proposed no constructive charges. A careful examination of financially feasible new methods of lecturing and testing would be of great worth to the College.
The Council will probably be confronted with certain unforeseeable new problems during the coming year. But with a conscientious attempt to work out and follow a balanced program, it can fulfill its great potential usefulness to undergraduates.