The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, February 01, 1895, Page 7, Image 7

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f V-WiflT Tivil n Tr-mrnrHinni i itiimiiiinmnan
There is scarcely any one need of. the Uni
versity more pressing than that of an as
sembly hall adequate to its demands, and to
its very reasonable demands. It is very
hard to maintain the esprit du corps of a
body of students who never for once even
are assembled in their own building and on
their own campus. The enthusiasm and the
inspiration that come from the occasional
mass meetings is worth everything in student
experiences. Without such meetings it is al
most impossible to maintain the keen recog
nition of solidarity of interest which is so
necessary to the highest and most satisfac
tory university life. The loyalty of the stu
dents is without question great and increas
ing; but it is hard to secure and maintain
this when students have practically no op
portunity to look each other in the faces and
to feel all the quickening that comes from
numbers. All men recognize the desira
bility of such gatherings of those who have,
or ought to have community of feeling. It
is at the bottom of all the efforts in every po
litical campaign if one takes no higher or
better example. .
The stated occasions on which such a hall
'is imperatively necessary are many. The
daily morning prayers, or "chapel," as it
has always been called, should bo an as
sembly of the entire University family.
Though those exercises are, and always have
been ontiroly voluntary as to attendance, the
present assembly room (which will seat about
fivo hundred and fifty, and these none too
comfortably) is not at all adequate for those
who desire to come. It is true there are
often some vacant seats; but this happens
only after the students have crowded the
room to the limit of standing capacity for
weeks, and have learned that even then not
half the enrollment can get within the doors.
There are very few older people who would
go to church every Sunday morning, only to
find themselvos loft on the sidewalk!
For joint debates, joint sessions of the lit
erary societies and other similar occasions,
as well as for concerts by University stu
dent organizations, and all miscellaneous
meetings of students, such as the Athletic
Association, there js practically no provision.
For a room that will not carry more than
one-third of the student body is not at all
adapted to the maintenance of that pure
democracy which is and ought to bo the prido
and greatest inspiration of such an institu
tion; and no students or student organiza
tions will do their best when but a portion
of their fellow students can have opportunity
to hear and approve their work.
For the Charter Day exercises, with the
concluding oration by some distinguished
outsider; for all the exercises of Commence
ment Week; for all lecture courses and other
similar attempts to bring to the students a
breath of the outer air of larger life; for the
annual gatherings of the alumni, with their
own chosen orator; in fact, for every occa
sion on which there must be room for all or
no meeting; the University must go to the
city and hire a suitable place. As to this,
it is not always possible; since the engage
ments of any first-class theatre are made at
least a year in advance; and when possible,
breaks the University spirit and makes of
such occasions too much of a public gather
ing rather than a student gathering, and re
moves the assembly from all the surround
ings and conditions and traditions which
give the peculiar flavor and enjoyment to
University affairs as such. No mention is
here made of the expense of all this, though
it constitutes no small burden from year to
It is certainly an anomaly in education
that an institution has no room in which all
its students may bo assembled for an occa
sional word of advice or instruction. When
the only means by which the Chancellor can
reach the students is by a notice on a bul
letin board, in a dark and crowded hall, the
wonder is that he can roach them and direct
or advise them at all. The entire life and
health and well-being of the University de
mands somothing more and far better than