Page images
[blocks in formation]


The WEEKLY NEWS SUPPLEMENT greets the college with every good wish for the new semester and the new régime. It comes to answer an old need of the college for a more efficient bulletin of events and for a better means of comment than the MISCELLANY could afford. During the discussion of last fall, it was decided that the length of time necessary for the publication of a literary magazine made it useless as a live medium for report and comment on college activities. In planning to issue the material contained in the back part of the MISCELLANY in a News Supplement coming every week, it was hoped not only that the work of the board of literary editors would be lightened, but also that the interest of the college would be quickened to a broader understanding of its problems, and a stronger sense of cooperation in working them out.

College life will find itself reflected in the WEEKLY from various angles. All events of importance to the college at large, it will try to record clearly. It will endeavor to bring events of world interest into closer connection with the college. It will voice any opinion on matters of interest to the college world. Through some one of these channels there is opportunity for expression for each individual.

To reflect current opinion faithfully, the WEEKLY will be a "free forum." It will not refuse any contribution which is authorized by the writer's signature. The editors do not hold themselves responsible for any expressions of personal opinions. If they are objectionable, the columns of the next issue are at the command of anyone who puts their objection into writing, and "the fight is a fair one.". The editors will be non-partisan in playing umpire: They will hold themselves bound, as acting under the Students Association, to an attitude neutral, but not therefore inactive.

The WEEKLY cordially invites the faculty and alum

nae, the administrative and undergraduate bodies to work with it during the next semester toward an understanding and a sense of coöperation that will result in the widest and truest appreciation of college life.


At the beginning of a college year we all pass judgment on what kind of a year it is going to be, whether the standards of the student body are going to be high or low, and whether there is going to be a sense of responsibility among the students that will show itself in loyalty to the ideals of the Students' Association and other college organizations as well as to those in authority.

At the end of the college year we all pass judgment on the year again and say what kind of a year it has been and where we have failed and where we have succeeded. We are apt to forget that one of the best times to judge of the college year is in the middle of it. We have gone a certain distance and we can look back and judge of the successes and failures that we have made during that time. We still have a certain distance to go. We can look forward to the time ahead as offering an opportunity to improve upon what we have already done and as a chance to make up for what we have not done. It is the best time to say to yourself and also to other people, "Are you satisfied with the way that the year is going? Are you doing what you said to yourself at the beginning of the year that you would do and are other people doing what they said that they would do?"

If you are not satisfied with the way that the year is going, that is, with the spirit of the student body, and with its attitude toward the life of the community which it constitutes, now is the time to say so, and not at the end of the year. If you are not satisfied with the way in which you as an individual are doing your part, or if you are not doing your part at all, or if you are not satisfied with the way that others are doing their parts, now is the time to brace up and make other people brace up. You can do your part better, you can take a more active interest in student affairs, you can look to see whether changes or improvements are needed, and you can stir up others to do the same; or else you can settle back into your rut-if you are in one-and let the year go as it will. And this applies not only to the Students' Association but to all student activities. It goes beyond student activities and applies to "the larger college" which now, if ever, needs the loyal support of the student body.

It remains for us each to ask ourselves the question, "Am I satisfied?" "Am I satisfied?" If we are not satisfied then how can we make this year count for more in spirit, in strength of public opinion, in a sense of responsibility, in support of necessary laws, and in loyalty to the college in general?

M. M. A., 1914


fice there should be no confusion or delay in straighten

The general student opinion concerning the restriction ing out records. There is one disadvantage in that the instructor does not know why a girl is absent, whether from illness or absence from college, or this, that and the other thing as oversleeping!-but as the records will be open to the instructors, this will be minimized. And there is the additional advantage of having one office deal with all excuses not technically within the law. Excessive absences will be dealt with as before by the wardens, which links them to a certain extent with the Dean's office. The penalty for excessive classroom absences or abuse of the system is as before a social one, although to a certain extent absence from class carries

of the use of alcohol burners reflects a real interest in the student body for protective measures against the dangers of fire. The executive committee considered the student attitude toward the present unrestricted use of alcohol lamps, chafing dishes and so on, and has investigated the possibilities of installing fire-proof kitchens throughout the college. Until a substitute is instituted for cooking purposes, we have been urged to be extremely cautious in our use of alcohol burners. The other colleges have sent us reports of their "rules and restrictions"

in regard to chafing dishes; the majority of the colleges either do not allow alcohol to be used at all, or limit its use very decidedly.

The student ruling of this year in regard to fire drills has aimed at promoting general safety by insuring more efficient drills. We are fined for non-participation in drills because of the obvious danger if everyone does not drill, in case of real fire. A girl is given a "calldown" for talking or making any unnecessary noise during a drill; this rule is an attempt to minimize disorder

and confusions.

The maids have had organized fire drills this year which have not been entirely successful. Our orderliness and co-operative spirit in drilling should set a fit standard for them to follow. The executive committee has been considering plans for a new and distinctive fire bell system. The speed of our drills will surely be increased by a new bell system; but even with the bells at our disposal now, the drills have been much too slow. It has taken over five minutes to empty Main. If each individual acts quickly and in a military fashion, the speed of the drills can be vastly increased and the greater safety of all thereby insured.

R. W., 1914


The notices on the bulletin boards make clear what the new excuse system is, and the attention of those who lack the "bulletin board habit" will probably in the near future be forcibly directed to it. Just how the system will work is of course one of those very debatable questions discussing which one can talk away a semesterwhile the system works. But at present it seems a decided advance, in centralization and despatch, over the old system. Where before each instructor had the task of keeping track of absences and excuses and reporting them to the Warden, the absences are now reported each day to the Dean's office, and excuses sent by the students directly to her. The instructor is thus relieved of the responsibility of attending to excuses; the absences and excuses instead of going to the Warden go directly to the Dean to whose office such academic matters rightly belong, and instead of handing an excuse to each instructor or forgetting to-the student drops all in one box in her own hall. With all excuses going directly to one of

its own penalty in less efficient work. We may still
long for a cut system, but in unity, centralization and
convenience this is an advance. Meanwhile, we hope.
K. Z. W., 1915


At last they are over! Everyone, even she who has emerged the worse for wear, feels a load lifted from her shoulders. The whole aspect of college has changed! No more slowly-plodding feet leaving the Library at nine-thirty; no more empty seats in chapel, in order to use "that valuable twenty minutes;" no more splitting headaches and "baked brains;" and no more endless waiting outside the mailbox for the flunk-note that isn't out yet. And yet some people say they like exam week! "Why, you can get so much exercise. and then you have a whole week, except for five periods, all to yourself. It's the best time of the whole year!" After all, this would be a sensible way to look at the week, but how many of us do it? Exam time, to most people, resembles one prolonged execution time. The executioners wander around in the background, just waiting to catch their victims with sundry pitfalls and torturing devices, before the final consummation of the punishment in the shape of a small stampless envelope, having in one corner: Return to Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.

Aside from all this unnecessary torture, what do we get from the examinations? At times it is hard to discover their real good, when we hear bits of conversation like the following:

"Wasn't I lucky to have learned, by heart, that list of men, just five minutes before the exam. I know I should have flunked if I hadn't."

"That exam was a perfect snap; not that I knew much, but it was the kind you could bluff anything."

"What under the sun made him give us that kind of a paper? Why I know I could have answered every question, without having gone to one lecture all semester."

"My, what a relief it will be to tear up all my notes!" We somehow get the impression that if we could successfully answer six or eight questions in two hours, we have completely exhausted a certain subject. It re


minds us of the college boy, who, immediately after receiving his diploma telegraphed his mother: "Educated, by gosh."

Of course it is impossible to sum up a whole course in a two-hour written, but the chief advantage of such an exam is the inevitable review that has gone before. However, no matter how well certain students may know their subject, it is impossible for them under nervous tension, to write a good paper.

Might not a scheme of monthly writtens, in the place of semester EXAMINATIONS, give far better results to teacher and student, both in obtaining a more just and proportionate view of a subject, as well as in obviating the strain of "exam-week?"

[blocks in formation]

of the new home of the Woman's University Club, No. 106 East Fifty-second Street.

The performance is to be repeated shortly in the Collingwood Opera House.


Lists to sign for parts in Second Hall Play, "The Critic," by H. B. Sheridan, are on Philaletheis Bulletin Board. The lists will be closed February seventh, and trials will be held February ninth to fourteenth. Copies of the play are in the Philaletheis alcove in the library. Trials are open to all classes. The committee is as follows: Martha Strong,'14, Chairman, Dorothy Meigs, '14, Jeannette Merrell, '14, Theodosia Jessup, '15, Theresa Lesher, '15, Katharine Jeffries, '16, Katharine Van Duzen, '16.

[blocks in formation]

THE INTERCOLLEGIATE DEBATE The topic for the Mt. Holyoke debate was announced Monday night. The provisional wording is as follows: "Resolved, that minimum wage legislation should be applied in workshops, factories, and sweating industries in the United States." The chairman on material will hold office hours in the Philosophy Seminar rooms every day, including Saturdays, between fourth hour and lunch. All those who wish to do work either on material or debating are asked to report to her at this time. The debate committee is as follows: Adeline DeSale,'14, Chairman, Alfreda Mosscrop, '14, Lois Treadwell, '14, Marion Wanger, '14, Elizabeth Adams, '15, Katherine Z. Wells, '15, Margaret Taylor, '15

(Continued from page 1)

Robinson was closely connected with its activities, and her loss will be felt keenly. Her classes will be taken by Miss Cutter, and Miss Patton will take her place as Warden of Strong Hall.

Professor Leach will spend the rest of the year travelling abroad. Miss K. M. Cochran, V. C. 1890, will take her place.

Miss Conrow is leaving for a period of study at Columbia and in Paris. Miss Gerr replaces her in the French Department. At Christmas Time, Miss Schindler took Miss Vimont's place.

During the next semester, Miss Emma Lunce will substitute for Miss Stroebe, and Miss Ethel Brewster for Miss Peaks.

Miss Florence Cunningham has been appointed to assist Miss Landon.


AR 3 1914

The Vassar Miscellany

VOL. 1.



(News Josue)


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


Lecture by the Honorable Dean C. Wor

No. 2.

mother, "Come home when the street lamps are lit." For some time now she has passed that stage of supervision and has been accustomed to return to her home at whatever reasonable hour she desired. Why, she asks, should she not be permitted to spend an evening with friends or to enjoy the quiet of a tea room in Poughkeepsie without being compelled to explain to independent friends that she will have "to telephone to college for permission." Cannot the college trust a little more in her self-respect and discretion?

[ocr errors]

This is but one example though the number might be continued to include all the other rules. The need of a faculty chaperone in addition to one's mother when a man visits a college room, the observance of Sunday rules which are no longer generally followed-these are all quite conceivable as rules made some years ago. They expressed the customs and proprieties of that time, but is it not now time that Vassar rules should embody the new conventions of the present day which allow with the greatest of propriety, a degree of freedom never thought of in earlier days? Why must we continue to be bound by traditions that in actual practice have long been forgotten? L. M. F., 1915


Professor Washburn at the meeting of the Psycholo

cester. "The Wild Tribes of the Philip-gical Association in New Haven, December 29-31, read
pines and What Has been Done for Them
under American Rule."


On the back of every student's door there is tacked a neat white card with the formidable heading, "Social Laws," underneath which are enumerated six of the many rules which govern Vassar life. Year after year they have been posted in almost the same form, and each new generation of students has had to accustom itself to regulations which it did not understand, for conditions have changed and, as so often happens, have changed more rapidly than existing law. The student coming from a home where she has been largely placed on her own responsibility, finds herself at college under a supervision so close and exacting as to remind her of the days when a nurse was considered essential to her safety. She finds that "students are not at liberty to remain down town later then seven o'clock," and although she also finds that the rule is generally disregarded, it sounds unmistakably like the warning she used to hear from

a paper on "The Aufgabe and Intellectual Inefficiency." She edited the annual review number of the Journal of Animal Behavior, which appeared in December, and in the October number of the American Journal of Psychology published two studies in collaboration with pupils, the first, "The Effect of the Interval between Repetitions in Learning a Series of Movements,"-with Mildred Browning, 1912, and Dorothy Brown, 1913,-the second, "A Suggested Coefficient of Affective Sensitiveness," with Helen Clark and Neida Quackenbush, 1913.

Associate-Professor Haight contributed "An Account of a Trip to Horace's Sabine Farm," to The Classical Weekly for January 10.

Miss Keuffner during the holidays attended the meeting of the Modern Language Association at Cambridge and the Poetry Society of America in New York. A paper of hers on "The Orphic Mystery in Holderlin's Hyperion" was read by title at the Modern Language Association and an article by her, "Mysticims in Painting: Leon Dabo," appeared in the Sewanee Review for January. (Continued on page 3.)

[blocks in formation]


ty for discussion from the point of view of a few individuals, not necessarily representative of the student opinion as a whole.

This tendency is the cause as well as the effect of the lack of actual participating of all students in the government. It is in itself caused by the nature of that which is dignified by the name of our "Self-Government." The remainder of the business at the meeting concerned itself with mere trivialities; we gave ourselves a little more leeway in the exercise of our personal judgement upon such matters as "walking on heels after ten o'clock," and "whistling or calling from windows." It is only when student government can concern itself with matters of a more vital importance that the lack of Democracy may find a cure.

[ocr errors]

Poughkeepsie, Feb. 9th, 1914.

Editors of the MISCELLANY:

In your weekly issue of February 6th in the article describing the arrangements for the administration of the College for the current semester, it is said, "The executive power is vested in a committee consisting of the Dean, the Head Warden and the chairman of the Faculty." This is a mistake doubtless due to the confusion of two different committees. The Executive Com

court of appeal for the various offices and other authori

At the meeting of the Students' Association on Feb-mittee of the Board of Trustees is the final authority and ruary 7th, there was for the first time this year, a quorum present when the house was called to order. This might be taken as an encouraging sign of "renewed interest" in self-government. On the contrary the meeting reached the lowest ebb of passivity and indifference. The Association evidently met out of sheer curiosity and spent a placid hour listening to formalities.

Yet the motions passed were sufficient to excite the greatest curiosity of anyone who thought we were legislating upon self-government. It was unanimously voted that two resolutions be sent to the faculty, one expressing our purpose to place academic work before nonacademic work, the other promising that we would endeavor to "maintain a high standard of honor in the new excuse system." This was done upon the recommendation of the General Council and the Self-Government Board in joint session. Such resolutions could be of value only as they voiced an overmastering revulsion against manifest abuses on the part of the whole student community. That they were passed without comment or demonstration renders them valueless. Their passage in this manner marks a most dangerous tendency within the Association to place more and more power in the hands of the governing boards, and to let them determine the policies of the Association. With this increase of Committee power has come decreasing knowledge on the part of the students of the work they are doing. The same tendency is manifested in the action taken on Saturday night whereby the General Council and the SelfGovernment Board are empowered to refer matters directly to the Faculty through the Joint Committee. Thus a question which has not been voted upon or even discussed by the Student body can be presented to the facul

ties. It is the real "head" of the College for the present. This same Executive Committee provided that “a committee shall be appointed, composed of the Chairman of the Faculty, the Dean, and the Head Warden, which shall be the final appeal in cases of serious discipline." The powers of the committee on discipline do not extend to any other matters.

Yours truly,



To most of those who were present at the last students' meeting, the business seemed to consist no doubt, entirely of "recommendations," from the Self-Government Committee and from the General Council. And because as "recommendations" they had already been considered by the Self-Government Committee everyone sat back and "swallowed them whole" so to speak. People said, "Well, these things have all been talked over by the General Council or the Self-Government Committee and what's the use of our discussing them? They want us to accept them and we might as well do it."

There are strong objections to this method of procedure. In the first place it is bad for the Students' Association to get into the habit of accepting offhand everything that the Self-Government Committee or the General Council may say. We do not want an oligarchy. This tendency to "swallow whole" anything presented by the General Council or by the Self-Government committee must be the result of a misunderstanding of what the term "recommendation" means, both in letter and in spirit. According to the dictionary "to recommend" means "to counsel, not to direct." The Self-Govern

« PreviousContinue »