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And now as we have the facts before us, let us re
flect upon them. Let us get to work, society men
first make tEe meetings interesting and profitable,
so others will be pleased to attend. Then let us
work to get new men into the societies, and make
them what they once were, a credit to us and to
our college, that you may in later years look back
upon your college life and say with pride that you
were a society man.
* * *
WTHERE is the art of oratory in which the
i ancients and our forefathers gloried so
extensively? Looking for its exponents
in the fields where they formerly existed, we find
that in this age of reason, becoming practically
useless, they have disappeared from view. The
greatest law-makers of to-day in our legislative
bodies are not those who attempt to hold their
hearers by blatant oratory and graceful gesture,
but comprise amonf, their number the men who
will give facts to,their audience, and giving facts
nearly always necessitates a great amount of read
ing, so oratorical effort is not sought after and is
in fact thought out of place. And so it is in oth
er walks of life. The minister strives to impress
his hearers not so much by his delivery as by his
ideas, while the lawyer who excels in cross exami
nation and in handling the testimony in his plea,
lu.s an immense advantage over an opponent with
the most flowery of arguments.
Right in this line comes the recent move of the
senior.class towards the abolishment of Commence
ment orations. What can be more absurd than
for men who have pursued technical studies for
four years, to attempt to give an oration of litera
ry merit, dealing with the vast problems of the
past, present and future, and explaining to the
gaping audience how the course of the earth will
be turned when they enter into the arena of life?
At their best these orations furnish a field for la-
bor, please the relatives of the orators, and form
a glossy crust of knowledge only, under which is
THE FREE LANCE.
a vacuum as deep and profound as the greatest
ocean. All the larger colleges and universities
have abandoned them and it is about time that
State was following their example Let us have
a good address to the graduating class by some
noted man who knows what he is 'talking about,
and thus avoid an entertainment which is little
.better than a long and tiresome oratorical contest.
Our college is up to date in almost every other
direction, so it is to be hoped that this change
may speedily be wrought.
ll' is abOut time that our students or the Athlet
ic 'Association as a body are protecting their
interests bv.seeing that every admisssion to
any event on Beaver Field is paid for. It is be•
coming quite a common thing for groups of peo
ple to gather.at a little distance from the athletic
field and view the contests while refusing to pay
for them ; and what is far worse, for the officials
to countenance such .a thing and pass it over un
til it beconies'a..custom. They should run such
individuals off the grounds, and if they are not
able to do this themselves, they should get suf
ficient reinforcements until they are able to per
form their duty. We have tolerated this kind of
a thing too long and too often for our own good
and the sooner we t.top it by some summary meth
od, the better it will be for all concerned.
EVERY few years we hear of some great inno
novation along the lines of education, of
. that institution discarding some
feature which at one time was thought indispensa
ble to the educational system.
Prof. Freeman, of Oxford, together with Prof.
Max Muller, instituted inquiries as to whether
some modification of the method of examinations
was not possible.
But although they secured the signatures of
hundreds of England's most prominent educators
stating that they believed the examination an ob
jectionable feature in the system of instruction,
no material alterations resulted.