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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/614

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

records, are, first, that the college disorders, as a whole, have not increased since the introduction of athletics; and, second, that one class of disorders has sensibly diminished. Of course, other influences have contributed to bring about these results. Still, even if the claim in behalf of athletics of a special influence for good in this respect be not allowed, it can not be fairly said that the evil effects of the system are such as to overpower all the other good influences.

As to those evils which are capable of remedy, and of which the remedy has not been before expressed or implied, we will take up that of unnecessary expense. It has been before shown that the expense of the system is not enormous, considering the good done. But undoubtedly it is greater than it need be. Moreover, it will naturally tend to increase. Still, it is well to remember that, as the number of athletic organizations increases, the increased subscriptions demanded of the students begin to waken some of the thoughtful among them to wiser discrimination in their giving, and to a sharper watchfulness of the management of the associations to which they do give. Consequently, new care in the spending of money is required of each university organization, and a healthy suspicion on the part of the students is developing itself. In other words, each athletic interest begins to act as a check on the extravagance of the others. Still, money is inevitably wasted, in consequence of the inexperience of the young men. Each officer, as a rule, serves but a year, when he makes room for a new officer, who is as inexperienced as his predecessor. The experience gained each year might be made serviceable by associating with the incoming treasurer a permanent graduate treasurer. The vice-president might be elected to become president as soon as the year's service of the president expired, so that he would serve as vice-president one year and one year as president, his service thus extending over two years. It has also been proposed to consolidate the athletic interests under one salaried superintendent, who should be a gradate. The objection to this plan is that, though it might secure a more consistent and economic management, it would destroy the present healthy rivalry of the athletic interests, and relieve the students themselves of the responsibility of success or failure. Besides the changes suggested, a general auditing committee for all the interests should be formed consisting of graduates and undergraduates. At pressent, though the accounts of all the interests are published, yet nobody feels it his particular business to object to any one item. If a graduate finds fault, his complaint is not worth much, as only undergraduates are supposed to know the needs of to-day. A committee of both graduates and undergraduates could audit the accounts, and would be able to make suggestions which would be sure of a hearing. By such changes in the system and the economies which ought to result from them, field-sports, such as base-ball, foot-ball, and lacrosse, should be self-supporting. The income derived from gate-money should meet the expenses.