"At the beginning of the Academic year, the Student Council of 1937-1938 found itself with certain investigations already under way, or promised to the students. As a matter of policy, I question the advisability of making commitments from one year to the next. . . . The Student Council of any year should be entirely free to turn its energies to problems which are the most pressing in its own estimation. This opinion is also held by Mr. Bowditch.
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"Besides the financial activities of the Council, which are treated in the report of the Treasurer, the main efforts this year, as in the past, have been divided between the administration of college affairs and independent reports. The major investigations turned this year to the problems of advancement in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. . . . The Council of years to come would do well to follow up the budgetary report, and attempt to insure a roughly even distribution of funds. As the situation now stands, both the students and instructors in the Social Sciences are definitely at a disadvantage. . . . The Council has repeatedly urged that the Faculty consider President Conant's plan of spreading the burden of tutorial work to all the members of the departments qualified to act as tutors. This is essential from a budgetary point of view. . . .
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"Throughout the year the Council was criticized by groups of undergraduates for the methods of nomination and election administered by the Council under its constitution. While certain of the suggestions placed before the Council seem to me quite impractical, there can be no question that the whole problem of election in the College should be studied by a Council Committee and I suggest that the Council of 1938-1939 begin the year by appointing a Committee to study the question exhaustively.
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"The Council has been urged by various outside organizations during the year to take a more active administrative part in the actual government of the students; presumably it is hoped that the Council would assume the power of disciplining students in all questions unconnected with scholastic aptitude. In my opinion it would be unwise for the Council to attempt to gain such powers. The restrictions on the private lives of the students at Harvard are kept to the very minimum, and if the University is willing to handle the details of punishing offenders, the Council should rather be grateful than resentful. The idealistic conception of student government as a training for democracy and citizenship in the future seems to me out of place at Harvard College. Students have come to Harvard--or at least should have come to Harvard--primarily to be students, and the Student Council should consider it its main duty to see that they are aided in every way as students. Perhaps its most important function is that of watch-dog on University educational policies, but certainly an important duty is to attempt to keep at a minimum the formalities of student government.