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street. On the other hand, the most perfect machine ever invented is just a machine, even if it is a Self-Government Association, or a sorority, or a whole galaxy of deans and tutors and proctors; and it never could do more than whiten the outside of student life if it were not helped by the presence of gentlefolk in and among that student body, acting in unseen, unrecognized influence, like the still small voice. On this subject of the efficiency, the availability, the permanent power of individual influence, I might be tempted to enlarge indefinitely. I might write a whole paper on the possibilities of the proper sort of dormitory as a place for personal contact-for the informal, continuous influence that is needed. I might tell true stories of the diminished efficiency of a dormitory when the number of older, cultivated women in it was decreased. I might tell you of the transmissal of influence through older students. might tell you of men and women who are doing great work without knowing it themselves. And as this audience is made up of women interested in university life, I might suggest lines of volunteer work. But my time is at an end, though my subject is inexhaustible. We are all soldiers in the educational army, and we are all promoters of civilization; and doubtless we all remember a story told, I think, of Stonewall Jackson. In the thick of a desperate engagement, a staff officer rode up and said to him: “General, there are some reserves coming up. Where had we better place them?” “Oh, let them come in anywhere," said the General; "there's beautiful fighting all along the line."
THE UNSOCIABLE STUDENT
EVELYN WIGHT ALLAN
The social side of college life has become a matter of such concern to faculties, alumni, parents, and college communities that it rightfully holds the attention of such an association as the Association of Collegiate Alumnæ. Better, perhaps, than any other class of people are we prepared to understand the complex causes, the lamentable conditions, and the disastrous effects of the social life which now obtains at many of our colleges and universities.
But because we have been in the habit of approaching this problem from what seems to me the wrong point of view—that which concedes to the student body the making and moulding of the social life—we have reached no very satisfactory solution. Such a point of view implies that the faculty is not more concerned in the social life of the students than a busy man is in the play of children. He regards it with indifference or indulgence until he is disturbed by too much noise or too flagrant naughtiness, and then he either punishes the children or banishes them. It is the other extreme from the point of view of days gone by, when the faculty granted meagre social entertainments, under proper police supervision, as concessions to frivolous youth.
We cannot return to those faculty grants of restricted favors for the basis of our social life; we will not acknowledge the various student activities of the present day to be that true basis; we insist, notwithstanding the superficial differences incident to student life, that the basis of social life in college shall be the same as that of the true social life everywhere. Students are not so much to blame for the artificial life in which they live; we have gradually permitted them to believe that they are peculiar individuals, whom the normal social code does not constrain. The point of view upon which we insist includes both faculty and students. The social life for which we plead concerns parents, alumni, professors, and their families, as well as the undergraduates. All must unite to make and mould the more genuine social life of a college community.
How shall the transformation begin? By what means shall it be established ? Not by the negative method of curtailing or forbidding the activities of the great majority of students—the naturally sociable students, that have been permitted to grow up with full faith in the social life of their own making. That would be acting from the old point of view. Without antagonizing anyone, let us turn to that small minority who, by nature or by necessity, are not found in any of the student activities—the unsociable students. Let us regard these as so much undeveloped social material, and begin with them a positive constructive work. I need not give you reasons why such students should be converted into social beings. We all believe in social service for all mankind. Many classes of people far removed from college halls are engrossing the attention of college graduates imbued with enthusiasm for social service. It is a lamentable fact that students are accepted into our midst, permitted to slip quietly along through four years of college work, and to graduate unknown, with no more culture than they brought to college as freshmen. Let us follow the unsociable students out of college. See them become the teachers of our children! They have studied their books, they can pass examinations, and they must be given favorable recommendations. If they were unsociable in college from financial necessity, they are, in all probability, laden with debt and must continue the same meagre social existence.
Oh, but you will say that college trustees are now providing officers for the special care of the social life, and these can reach the unsociable student; that the Christian Associations are doing satisfactory work in all of our colleges, great and small; that committees composed of the wives of professors are, in many institutions, organizing entertainments for those students like the non-fraternity students, unaffiliated with college organizations. All of this is true, but all fail to reach many types of the unsociable students. And their efforts are doomed because they are artificial and exterior to the life of the student. It is the privilege only of the professor or the instructor to reach the students naturally, to find favorable opportunities to make their acquaintance, to win their confidence, and to mould their lives. For this reason a dean of women must be, first of all, a professor on the faculty, a teacher of the larger type, before she is the dean, if she is to be successful in any large
The school-teacher deals with boys and girls, the research professor with men and women; but the college professor, whom we are considering now, deals with neither boys nor men, nor girls nor women. His work is the most important in all educational life. He must be a man of the larger type if the offer of the college is what President Hyde of Bowdoin says it is:
“To be at home in all lands and all ages; to count Nature a familiar acquaintance, and Art an intimate friend; to gain a standard for the appreciation of other men's work and the criticism of your own; to carry the keys of the world's library in your pocket and feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake; to make hosts of friends among students of your own age who are to be the leaders in all walks of life; to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms and cooperate with others for common ends; to learn manners from students who are gentlemen, and form character under professors who are Christians—this is the offer of the college for the four best years of your life.”
A friend of mine has just accepted a professorship in Hamilton College because he says Hamilton is still engaged in the rare work of making true gentlemen out of all kinds of boys.
We must bear in mind that large social interests were probably not made a requirement when the average college professor was called to his chair. We have often wondered how it is that a college professor can lecture to his classes, mark his papers, and retire to his study oblivious to the human needs of the students before him. The time has long passed since the teacher of an elementary or secondary school could hold that attitude toward the children before her. One of our leading educators has said: “I can find excellent teachers of literature, science, or history-in fact, able teachers of almost every subject-but I can find very few teachers of boys and girls.” I am always interested in the answer I get from college students to the question, “Who is the greatest man you have known at Amherst, or Princeton, or Columbia?" or, "Who is the greatest woman you have known at Smith, or Vassar, or Mt. Holyoke?" Invariably they ask: “Do you mean our greatest scholar, the one the college is proudest of; or do you mean the one that has meant the most to me personally?" I have had students tell me that no professor in college has given them so much inspiration as the high school teacher that sent them to college. My hope for the social life of the entire student body depends upon this larger activity of the college professor. He must, of course, be a pro
fessor of his subject; but more than that, he must be a friend of his students. Let him turn his special attention to the unsociable student, and he will be repaid a hundredfold. An influence he little dreams of will reach the self-sufficient sociable student of doubtful standards.
I do not mean to suggest that the professor's wife should entertain to rival the fraternity routs. True hospitality is always simple and inexpensive. Let her admit the lone student to her fireside and she can do more than any number of committees can. fessor told me the other day that a senior had thanked him with great feeling for what he said was the first invitation in his entire course to meet a professor on friendly terms as a guest in his house. You will say, perhaps, that students do not care for such tame entertainment; that they must dance, and ride in automobiles, and wear pretty clothes; but this is not so. They will respond to the real thing as they never will to patronage of any kind. It will soon become apparent to those of finer natures that professors whom they most respect and admire are on intimate terms with students whom they do not know. They will begin to seek the inner circle. There they will find another tongue spoken. There they will see oldfashioned good manners. Nothing so fits a student for life as to be included in life itself, and never yet has been devised a better school than a home.