Individual Training in Our Colleges

By Clarence F. Birdseye | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV
SOME OF THE PRESENT EVILS OF COLLEGE LIFE

THE careful student of our college history, no matter what his alma mater, and regardless of his predilections, must soon realize the primacy of Harvard in the realm of higher education; not necessarily in numbers or wealth, or in athletics which are now so often taken as the only measuring rod. As Yale was her direct offspring, and Princeton of Yale, and as Harvard's laws, rules and customs have thus been adopted throughout the country, so, at least until very recent times, she has been the first large institution to voice the increasing liberalism that has ever marked our educational course.

The primate of our colleges.

It will not surprise us, therefore, that it was Harvard that made the first real investigation, along common-sense lines, of the student problem from the students' standpoint. Possibly no other institution could have done this, and then have boldly and frankly published the results, notwithstanding the showing made. Her faculty were seeking the truth, and having found it they did not hesitate to state it fully. This investigation covers only one of the many aspects of the student question; but it is official, and fully sustains the positions taken in this book. The report is also important as showing the present condition of Individual Training in its first home and stronghold. Harvard has strong points and marked failings, peculiar to herself, and her conditions are not exactly reproduced elsewhere; yet they have always strongly tended to spread to other colleges. As a matter of fact, the conditions here revealed at Harvard are already abroad to a greater or less degree. A little study of them from the students' standpoint will soon convince us that that degree is an alarming one.

Her investigation of present-day conditions.

The investigations which are being made in the same spirit through the Associated Harvard Clubs demonstrate the power

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