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Holy Cross Seeks to Graduate 'Whole Man' by 4 Years of Rigid Moral, Scholastic Discipline

Small Worcester College Maintains Strictest Set of Parietal Rules in the East

By Robert A. Scheuermann

Holy Cross and Harvard are seeking the same result, the "whole man" graduate, in totally different ways. The two most drastic differences between the schools are the former's emphasis on religion and the latter's greater allowance of social freedom.

The problem of whether or not a college can develop a whole man is so essential to the basic philosophy of an education that Harvard's Student Council is currently carrying out research designed to learn--as well as can be learned--the necessities for the development of this "whole man" graduate. A pamphlet attempting to explain the religious emphasis in Holy Cross education states that "the supervision over a student's moral life should be as systematic as the direction of his mental life. Education, as understood in this system, is the training of the whole man in which training the supreme element is growth along the lines of Christian morality.

"While recognizing in its fullest extent the advantages of a liberal education in the purely secular order, the College at the same time understands that education must contain a power that can form or sustain character."

Realizing this deep-seated difference between Catholic and non-sectarian institutions, the average member of the latter has the impression that religion is "thrown at" the students of a non-secular school, day and night, to the point of inciting narrow-mindedness. This is definitely not true of the school on the side of Mount St. James in Worcester.

Religion Courses Required

The Very Reverend John A. O'Brien, S.J., President of Holy Cross and a former professor of Philosophy at Boston College, prefers to look at the problem in a more utilitarian way. Admitting that Holy Cross takes pride in a reputation as a good "liberal arts" college and explaining that one course in Religion is required every year to all but the 22 non-Catholics in the college, Father O'Brien says, "We are not secularistic in the technical sense--divorcing the study of religion from education--simply because we do not feel that the study of religion has no educational value.

"Secular schools are inclined to say that religion is largely a matter of feeling--not scientific or intellectual. But religious factors have had much to do with the growth of western civilization, and a non-emphasis on religious teaching would, we feel, lead to a truncated, defective liberal education."

At any rate, questioning of a cross-section of Holy Cross men shows that the religious training is almost totally confined to these classes and to required attendance at Mass three times a week.

But almost as important a difference in the administration of the Cross man's educational development--and even more important to many of the students--is the amount of parietal control placed over them. Holy Cross is one of the two or three most socially restricted liberal arts colleges in the country, certainly the closest controlled one in the east.

Early Curfew for All

Basic dormitory regulations--as set down in a little purple manual referred to as the "joke book"--state that the Holy Cross upperclassman must be in for the night by 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 11:45 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 p.m. on Sundays. For freshmen these times are moved up approximately an hour. A monitoring system of corridor prefects checks up on obedience to these rules with more or less conscientiousness.

Home permissions, entitling the students to remain off-campus on a Saturday night, are granted by the dean of discipline. The late-dater can then either go home or take his chances of sneaking back into his room after hours. If caught, he loses his out-permissions.

On weekdays, permission to leave the building during the early evening must be obtained from the corridor prefect. For permission to leave the campus during the evening, the student must go to the dean of men.

In addition to this, there is the "retiring hour." Lights in all bedrooms must be turned out by 11 p.m. (10:30 p.m. for freshmen). Occasionally, for "sufficient reason," permission for late lights may be obtained.

As far as dormitories are concerned, female visitors are out. It is positively forbidden to bring ladies, even mothers and sisters, to the rooms or corridors of the dormitory buildings. Except on special occasions, only one room on the entire campus--the lounge of Fenwick Hall, the administration building--is not off limits to the female guest.

How Much Supervision

On the question of whether a young man at the college level should be so supervised or left entirely alone, Father O'Brien explains. "We believe that we are only assuming those responsibilities that parents would assume at home--and the parents seem to like the idea. If the boy were at home, his parents would like to know where he is."

Strangely enough, all these regulations and restrictions seem only to increase the spirit and pride of Holy Cross men for their Alma Mater. This last word in community living, a closeness of interests and patterns of living almost forced on the students, results in a greater interest in all facets of the college life than develops from the Harvard system of relaxed, or non-existent rulings.

This interest has shown up in the march of the student body, 1800 strong, through the streets of Worcester in a welcome to returning football coach Dr. Eddie Anderson. Athlete worship also crops up occasionally, with 1942 backfield great Johnny Grigas being served nectar in the dining hall for a week after an unexpected Louisiana State victory.

The average Holy Cross man also believes, probably correctly, that he has to work harder scholastically than his Cambridge counterpart. Six courses per term are a normal requirement, with little leeway, even in the upper classes, in choice of electives.

Choice of a major is left until the end of the sophomore year, but freshman placement test results in many cases point the way to immediate determination of the entire curriculum. Attendance at all classes is, of course, compulsory, and excess of ten percent cutting leads to trouble.

Classes sometimes run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., leaving little opportunity for anything but study in the evening. Parietal rules also, of course, leave little opportunity for anything but study in the evening.

Disciplinary control are probably least popular when they carry into extracurricular activities, each of which has a faculty supervisor. As a result of administrative control, the Holy Cross student government, while very active and efficient, performs far more service than advisory functions.

Financially the school has a small scholarships fund of about $500,000. Tuition, board, and room come to $1,000 a year per man. Athletic scholarships, Father O'Brien admits, are granted in accordance with N.C.A.A. regulations--tuition only--but preference in part-time jobs is given to the athlete.

Jesuits Accept No Salary

The college is able to toe the line between red and black mainly because the Jesuits, the principal teaching order of the priesthood, are allowed to accept no pay.

A large number of the Jesuits and lay instructors, the latter chosen more on teaching ability than on being "top men in their fields," live with the 1500 boarding students in the small, single-room quarters of seven dormitories, which are occupied according to class. Most of the dormitories have classrooms on the lower floors, there being no separate class buildings.

In a large central dining hall the entire student body is served at a sitting by student waiters. The food leaves no cause for griping--with steak and chops several times a week.

No Large Donations

Aside from these buildings and a new biology building under construction, the physical plan consists of Fitton Field, with a small football stadium seating 20,000, and a large, gray quonset hut-like structure high on the hill which houses the Holy Cross Athletic Association and six constantly-crammed basketball courts. While admitting that increased facilities would be very desirable, both Father O'Brien and Athletic Director Eugene F. Flynn explain that "nobody dies and leaves us a million."

In spite of a lack of alumni millionaires, Holy Cross graduates do not do badly. Whether or not they all attained the ideal of "a flexibility of mind, imagination, and interests, and a high standard of social responsibility, rather than specialized studies and ability," at least in the past few years of its 103-year history the college has placed 100 percent of its graduates--whole men or not--in jobs or in graduate schools.

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