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great restrictions of entrance examinations might often exclude those who were best for the Institute work. It is his idea to take men with one or even two entrance conditions, if for instance, the two were in modern languages. Engineering students have difficulty in acquiring modern languages; some have an antipathy against such subjects, and more men are likely to fail in these subjects, because of their poor training in the languages at the preparatory schools. It obviously would be wise not to admit to the Institute those who have serious failures in mathematics. After selecting the men by entrance examinations and admitting those who are well prepared in mathematics, it would be well, after five weeks of the term, to submit these students to certain intelligence tests, such as have been described by Mr. Shaw of Tufts College, which would show whether or not those who take the examinations are competent to continue as engineering students. These examinations are not such as can be prepared for by special tutoring. They are not based upon results of memory. The results of these examinations, with the regular quizzes and tests at the end of the first ten weeks or the first term of the school year, should settle the student's status. In the present year about 120 had been dropped after the first term. It would be practicable to drop more at the opening of the term, on account of the failure of candidates to fulfil certain entrance requirements, provided entrance examinations were held. again in December, when these students and other new students might present themselves for entrance examinations, and if successful in passing them, be admitted to a new class to be started in January. Some students are able to pass entrance examinations, however, who cannot get beyond the second year of the Institute. Another important factor in the consideration of the limitation of numbers was the quality of the teachers. Departments should know how their men are teaching.
Another phase of the question of limitation of numbers is the overcrowding of students in homes or dormitories, a question which is most important to parents. At present the Institute does not give decent accommodations for eating and living. It is true that a list of names and addresses for two thousand students has been collected, but even some of these places are not what they should be. The question of food is also a serious one. The Institute now gives an unusually good lunch at a reasonable figure, but does not provide breakfast and dinner for the students as the parents might expect. The dormitories accommodate but 175 men with a waiting list of 300 or 400, and the rooms are booked for from three to four years. It is our duty to do something about this, in order that we can assure the parents of some interest in having the students live under fairly good conditions. Indeed, some of the parents and some of the alumni of the Institute are likely to send their sons to another college, although they usually have to give two extra years to their collegiate training.
Frequently, moreover, those who come to us from other colleges get too much credit for the work which they may assume that they have had. It would be better for the men who come to us from other
colleges to repeat the essential subjects. Some parents, who are afraid to have their sons submitted to the entrance examinations, have them go to another college that admits on the basis of certificate, merely to avoid the difficulty of entrance examinations. We should be more careful, therefore, about the admission of students from other colleges, and we should announce that students who enter the Institute from other colleges must expect to lose at least one year.
But the greatest problem on hand at this moment is to provide housing for more students. The scholarship standing of the Institute is well protected, but as for living for students we have a hard problem.
Professor Allen next spoke to the Council. He referred to his having been a member of the faculty for a long time with Dean Burton, and while they were always good friends, they were not always of the same belief on problems; but he was glad to assure the Council that he was in substantial agreement with Professor Burton. Professor Allen told the Council that he had recently, out of interest in this subject, reviewed the records of a class at the Institute about twenty-five years ago, and found that in estimating the records on a scale of five, that those whose records were three might properly be shut off at entrance. Out of seventy-eight records which he examined, he believed that sixteen should have been shut off and twelve more could have rightly been shut off in their first or second year. Had this been done then there would have been no need of disciplinary votes for students after their second year. He had looked at a more recent class, he said, and he seemed to think that the regulations concerning the entrance examinations were a little better carried out, and that they were now perhaps a better measure of the students' ability. He referred to the opinion which General Walker held when president, that the entrance examinations should be reasonably easy and should be acted upon rather tolerantly in order to admit to the Institute students who had not had the best opportunity to prepare for Technology work. Now, however, General Walker's point of view would be different, for conditions now are widely different. Professor Allen held that we should demand of students both good capacity and good preparation. We should take only such men. Those of poor preparation were a drag upon the Institute from the start and should be shut out. The number of the first year class should be fixed according to the number who appear with the proper preparation and ability, and then, by taking care of the first and second year classes, the danger of overcrowding would be overcome.
Professor Allen next reviewed the question of the limitation of numbers from the financial point of view, and stated that he had been looking over some of the Treasurer's Reports and found that the increase in number of students was a disadvantage. It seemed to him that an increase in number of students was a very large financial burden, and that the important problem is to get more money and more dormitories so that we can take care of the students that we have. He referred to a student who had lost one-third of a year because there were no
facilities for research work. He understood from the head of the Physics Department that members of this staff had been unable to carry on Research, which they had been promised they would be permitted to do, on account of lack of facilities. There is no danger of the Institute dropping its standard of teaching, Professor Allen believed, but to preserve it we should limit the number to students that can be taken care of.
Colonel Dewey next addressed the Council and referred to the fact that the students who come from other colleges had been spoken of this evening and on previous evenings, and he challenged the statement that a man from another college could not become a good Tech There were loyal members on the Council who had come to the Institute from other colleges. He thought it so important to take care of the physical needs of the students, that, had he à son about to enter college, he doubted if he would let him go to Technology for the first two years. At that age a boy would hardly be mature enough to meet the competition which must exist according to the suggestions made regarding the first two years. It would be better for a parent to send his son to another college until he were older and let him enter the Institute only for the last two years.
The discussion was closed by Mr. Hopkins who stated that we should bear in mind the quality of students that we are to turn out, and that there should be an increase in the number of teachers that are to be provided. Many manufacturers who have been endeavoring recently to produce quantity and had overlooked quality are now suffering from these conditions. The Institute itself would undoubtedly take care of the problem of training its own teachers. The number of teachers should be increased in order that the size of the sections might be reduced and that the teachers might come in more personal touch with the students.
The next topic on the call for the meeting was taken up and Professor Pearson was called upon to speak to the Council on Student Activities. He produced two bound volumes which are made up of the Report, with appendices, made by students in a course in report writing under the supervision of a member of the English Staff, Mr. Prescott. After Professor Pearson spoke, Mr. Prescott was called upon to outline in detail the work of this course. He asked that all alumni who were interested would send to the Institute copies of reports made by them in numbers as large as possible in order that each student in his work might have before him examples of formal reports.
Mr. Smithwick, president of the Senior Class and President of the Student Institute Committee was then called upon to make a report of progress upon the Student Intercollegiate Conference, of which a full account will be found elsewhere in this issue.
The next topic of the business was taken up which was the report of the Advisory Council on Athletics. Dr. Rowe asked that a plan be devised whereby the Athletic Council might be able to expect an annual appropriation of not less than $3000 from the Alumni Association, and
he suggested that each class contribute $50. He told how eighteen teams at the Institute had been maintained at an expense of from $6000 to $9000, whereas at Harvard thirty-six teams had been maintained at an expense of $165,000. The Technology Track Record for the past year has been very good, and there have been a number of other successful teams with enviable reputation. The budget made from the student tax for the current year has been exhausted and there is no money available to carry the teams for the rest of the year.
The last speaker, Professor Miller, referred, because of the question which had been raised regarding laboratory capacities, to the engineering laboratories which were designed for 4000 students. There are now from 1800 to 2000 students there per week and the number could be doubled if sufficient teaching staff were provided. The machine tool work laboratory has been increased in capacity one hundred per cent, and the laboratories are large enough now to provide for an increase for five or six years. On account of the interchange of laboratories, the Foundry has been increased 100 per cent, 72 men work at a bench and all the 72 men can take part in a pouring. The Pattern Shop also is all right but the Forge Shop is smaller, on account of the fact that a fewer number of the departments are taking up work in Forging. Professor Miller's speech closed the evening's discussion and the Council adjourned.
OPINIONS WELCOMED ON THE WAR MEMORIAL
In the report of the February Council meeting will be found mention of the recommendations of the committee appointed to consider a proper memorial for Technology men in the war. As no immediate action seems possible, members of the alumni are invited to send in their opinions. A most interesting suggestion is that, instead of a building, there should be a scholarship endowed and named for each man on the honor roll. Other suggestions are in order.
PROFESSOR HOVGAARD'S BOOKS
IN the Book Review department will be found two full and authoritative reviews, one by Professor Jack of the Institute, on Professor Hovgaard's two books on the history and on the design of warships, two volumes of the greatest importance which have not as yet, because of the war, been given general adequate notice in this country.
ACTIVITIES OF THE WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION
Ar the March 4 meeting of the Technology Women's Association, held as usual in the Emma Rogers Room, Administration Building, Cambridge, amendments recommended by a committee consisting of Miss Howe, Miss Joslin and Mrs. Sawyer, ex officio, who had in charge the revision of the by-laws previous to a reprint, were acted upon and adopted.
The large celluloid buttons, adopted at a previous meeting as a means of identification of members, were worn at this meeting after having been lettered by one of the architectural coeds present.
Following the short business meeting Mrs. Osborne, resident director of the Students' Union, gave a delightful account of the object, work and aims of this Union. So much interest was shown by the Association members present, that Mrs. Osborne extended an invitation to have afternoon tea with her at the Clubhouse, 81-83 St. Stephens Street, in order to see at first hand the condition and needs of the student quarter of Boston and how these needs are met for the group of over five hundred young women living under the direction and guidance of the Union.
April 8 was later set as the date for the tea.
Miss Fisher, second vice-president of the Association, was appointed delegate to the biennial convention of the National Association of Collegiate Alumnæ, in place of Mrs. Sawyer, who was unable to attend. At this convention to be held in Washington many important matters relating to the Clubhouse and its field of usefulness are to be considered. Making the National Clubhouse on Lafayette Square, opposite the White House, the center for educational work of the Collegiate Association in both its national and international aspects is one of the matters to receive attention.
In answer to a post card appeal for subscriptions, however small, to the Madame Curie Radium Fund, over sixty dollars was received within a few days from some of the Tech Association members. Full returns are not yet in.
Owing to the desire of many of the members to have the spring luncheon in Boston proper for a change, the luncheon committee consisting of Mrs. Tyler, Dr. Bryant and Mrs. Sawyer, ex officio, made arrangements to hold the luncheon at the College Club, 40 Commonwealth Avenue, on Thursday, April 21, at one o'clock. Further plans are not yet complete.