A System, Finally? (Vol. 1, Issue 8)
Now that the last academic year for the seniors at Yeshiva College is well under way, the thoughts’ of many a member classman are focused on that day of days — Commencement. Long before the day arrives, however, these same dreamers will have awakened to the realization that “there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.”
Particularly will the financial aspects of Commencement consume a great deal of hitherto carefree moments. Ways and means of financing the grand exodus have always given their shares of worry to the supposedly blasé senior.
Living as we do in an age of rugged individualism, The Commentator finds that much as it would like to be of some material assistance, society has relegated the sacred opportunity of solving these problems to the individual ingenuities of each respective class member. So, despite our good intentions, must the perennial worries of the senior class go on unabated.
But there is another aspect of graduation which is not in the hands of the senior or the student body. We are referring to the presentation of awards at commencement exercises, and, while discussing awards, the division of scholarships for the entire college year.
Till now, Commencement Day has always aroused much more excitement at Yeshiva than at any other college, and for a perfectly logical reason. Whereas at all other institutions only the natural jubilance of the great event is experienced, at Yeshiva there is a decidedly added tension, for it is at that ceremony that the graduates actually discover what medals and prizes are to be given and who will be the lucky ones chosen as the recipients.
The past few years have witnessed a steady growth of resentment against this arbitrary procedure. Nor have the objections been raised by those students physically unable to undergo the emotional strains of the moment. It is rather the feeling of the past few senior classes. And it would be no exaggeration to state that the reactions of the entire student body are the same in regard to the secret presentation of scholarships for yearly tuition and board.
With this sentiment we are perfectly in accord. We can see no reason why the awards and scholarships should be given in such a manner, and feel that the objections are wrong only insofar as they have not been presented to the Administration with enough vigor.
If these medals, prizes and scholarships are awarded solely on merit — and this should be the only consideration — we feel that as students, we have a right to ask that all the awards up for competition be posted at the beginning of each college year with the respective requirements. Such has been the procedure adopted in every college of note, which prints the requirements for all awards in the yearly catalogue. Student Council should pass a motion at its next session to form a committee with the purpose of arranging with the Administration for the publication of this data. Prompt action by council members should succeed in establishing, once and for all, a definite system in the presentation of all academic medals, prizes, and scholarships.