By: The Commentator Editorial Board  | 

Congratulations… BUT (Vol. 1, Issue 8)

Reports from the administration have reached us that two additions have been made to the college faculty, one in the language department and the other in the philosophy. Though such news is usually a sign of the college growth and consequently a source of joy to us as students, on this occasion we find our reactions marred by a variety of mingled feelings. 

To Dr. Belkin, who will be the new Greek instructor, we wish to offer a hearty welcome. As a man who has established a name for himself in both secular and learned Jewish circles, Dr. Belkin is ideally suited to become a member of the Yeshiva College faculty. The administration is to be commended on its choice, for it is men of this type who have a real understanding of the ideals of Yeshiva that should be attracted to this institution.”

BUT — the addition of a new instructor to the department of philosophy we can only view with dismay. Until the present, the policy of the administration has always been to offer only those courses which were absolutely essential for a degree. Though there was a great need for additional faculty men in many departments of the college, appeals from the student body have brought the constant. reply that the financial status of the institution has made it impossible for the past few years and the present, at least to realize any such additions.

Understanding the difficulties facing the Administration, the student body has constantly acted with irreproachable courtesy and understanding. Never was a petition for a new subject pushed by any student delegation when convinced of the inability of the college to carry the financial burden.

If ever the co-operation of the student body with the Administration in this matter was brought into direct relief, it was this term. Two groups of students, one far above the required registration number and the other fulfilling it, both petitioned for courses in Education and Embryology respectively. Nor were these courses that merely charmed the intellectual predilections of the applicants. Both were absolutely necessary to the future careers of these students. One is required by the Board of Education for a teacher’s license, while the other would have probably played a decisive part in the admission of those Yeshiva students applying to medical schools.

Yet, realizing all the implications of the Student petitions, the presentation of these courses was refused by the authorities. In spite of the tremendous issues involved, the students this time, too, withdrew their petitions after an appeal by the Administration to the effect that the College was not yet able, because of financial reasons, to absorb these courses.

After thus showing, not theoretically, but actually, an ideal co-operation with ‘the Administration involving such vital sacrifices as no college has any right to expect from its undergraduates, the student body had every reason to believe that any expansion in courses would take in those subjects so necessary to the students. Surely, we were perfectly justified in our convictions that the Administration would reciprocate by cooperating with us at their first possible opportunity.

It is for these reasons that we find ourselves utterly unable to comprehend the recent appointment of another instructor to the philosophy department. Not only had the students never appealed for such an addition, but during all the crossfire of student criticism leveled at different times during the past few years against nearly every department in the college the philosophy courses have been among the few that have remained unseathed. In fact the interest manifested in the presentations and contents of these courses has developed so rapidly that the department is increasingly being regarded by upper classmen and alumni alike as the outstanding one in the college. 

That expansion, which the Administration realizes is so vital in certain courses, should be wasted on a department which has the least need for new blood appears unintelligible to us. Whether the Administration had any ulterior motive in appointing an additional Philosophy instructor, we do not know.

But if it did, the mere recollection of the vital sacrifiées undergone by the most promising and talented students of this institution for the welfare of the college should have been sufficient to arouse far more than a minimum of Administration appreciation which would be to gladly drop the ulterior motives in the face of present exigencies.

We believe that in view of the sterling record of unselfish student cooperation in the past, the Administration should feel morally bound to reconsider this new addition to the Philosophy department, and if at all possible to expand along the lines so vital to us. 

We earnestly trust that this issue will receive the sincere attention of the Administration and that the spirit of cooperation established by the student body with the authorities will not be disturbed because of any difficulties in rectifying this misunderstanding.