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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 15, 1891)
literary societies displayed impropriety in deserting
this paper and assisting a "frat" enterprise.
If the "frats" are not strong enough to edit and
support a paper, then let them acknowledge such and
subside. We do not believe that it is proper for the
"barbs" to help them out of hot water if they were
foolish enough to get into it. A paper that is afraid
to advocate what it believes had better change its
policy or "give up the ghost".
Are the "frats", however, to be censured forseek
ing talent without their ranb? If they have not
the talent within tl eir crowd to publish a paper,
they must seek talent elsewhere and give up the idea
of having a "frat" paper, or let the paper die. They,
seemingly, have chosen the former course. In doing
so we do not believe that they are to be criticised as
much as are those who volunteered to help them out
Since the Lasso is issued monthly, and two-thirds
its editorial staff are members of societies which
are backing this paper, we, .strictly speaking, ques
tion the demand for the paper: If the paper was issued
weekly, then the question would be very different.
We, especially, question jthe propriety of the
action of those persons who are aiding the "frats.'1
If they 'were dissatisfied with the management of this
paper, why did they not let the fact be known, in
order that a change might be made, and their desires
satisfied. In short, if they are "ba;bs," why don't
they support and advocate barbarian principles
instead of a would-be-fraternity paper. The time
has come for drawing barb-frat lines more closely in
The following communication will be of interest
to students, and especially those interested in oratory
In view of the approaching oratorical contest,
the questions discussed in the letter are especially
pertinent, and they are treated in a vigorous manner.
Let every one interested in oratory, and especially
the members of the oratorical association, give this
letter their thoughtful consideration.
Within the the last three years the university has taken
part in three slate oratorical contests. In the first contest
our man was worsted. In the second our representative was
beaten. In the third our man was left in the lurch by a
Methodist who later took last place in the interstate contest.
True there were mitigating circumstances. There always arc
to the defeated. The oratorical record of the university has
been a bad one. Let us face it.
It is less than two months till our local contest is held, yet
before December n our local association showed not a sign
of life. That day it met. Hut it was pitiable to sec half a
quorum sit helplessly and look each other in the face.
It is quite well established that two orators will appear on the
"local". It is within the realm of possibility that more may
enter the contest. Two contestants out of seven hundred stud
ents! These figures represent the ratio of our interest in ora
torical matters to what it should be if we, would win a state
contest and redeem ourselves from the misfortunes of the past.
I believe the university should withdraw from the State
Oratorical Association. Tht causes of the apathy noted above
are deep-seated. We go into a state contest handicapped.
The standard of oratorical excellence in the university is dif
ferent from what it is in any of the denominational schools.
The standard of the denominational schools is the standard of
the state and of the interstate associations. The students
believe the standard of the university to be the right one.
What then is to be done? Two courses arc open to the
orator ambitious of winning state honors. One is to approx
imate as nearly as he may to the ideal held up before him in
the university, go to the state contest, and butt his head
against a stone wall. The other course open to him is to
write up (or down) to the standard of the denominational
schools. The first policy insures defeat, the other causes the
orator to go against his better judgment. These arc the two
horns of the dilcmna.
Hut this fact alone is not suflicicnt to account for the stud
ents' lack of interest in oratorical matters. The university
oilers facilities for work in lines unheard of in the other edu
cational institutions of the state. The result is the energy
which, if found in a denominational school, would be
expended along oratorical lines, is exerted along varied lines
of special investigation. This state of affairs is not to be
regretted. It is what is giving our university its high stand
ing among universities- Our professors have little or no sym
pathy with our representative in the state contest. Our pro
fessor of oratory even goes so far as to insist (I believe rightly)
that oratorical contests arc a detriment to the contestants. In
denominational schools on the other hand, the local orator is
aided in every way, encouraged by the professors and patted
on the back by his fellow students.
In view of the above considerations, but one course, I
believe, is open to us. Let us withdraw from the state asso
ciation. The general sentiment of the students appears to
be, let us withdraw only after we have won a contest. If it
is settled that we should withdraw, why wait till then? Will
it be any more to our credit to withdraw after we have won a
coiuest than to withdraw now? I think not. On the other
hand, I believe it to be more manly for us to withdraw to-day
than to leave just at the time we have won a state contest. I
fail to sec the glory we shall gain by cutting the acquaintance
of the sister colleges of the association at the indefinitely
remote time when victory shall perch on our banners. Back
ing out of the association will be an embarrassing task at the
best. Every day that we remain in the association makes the
task more severe. Granted that to withdraw now will dis
credit us in the opinion of the other colleges. Is not out
institution capable of going on its way rejoicing, even if wc
have not the admiration of envious pretended rivals?
The University of Nebraska has followed a temporizing
too long. It should do one of two things:Either withdraw from
the state association at the earliest opportunity, or rouse up
enough interest in oratory to back its representative in the
state contest with something more effectual than the blatant
notes of the Uni. yell. T. F. A. Williams.
"If we can't have the use of the bars, horse, pulling
machine, ladder and rings during practice time in the gymna
sium we better quit" said a member of the gymnasium get
ting ready to go to the half-hour practice, He took off his
collar, threw it down, and continued: "This thing of mak
ing us stout, healthy fellows swinging dumb-bells day after
day is all nonsense. I'd quit the gym. right now but for the
exercise I get in running," and he was off for the gymnasium.
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