Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, February 20, 1885, Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

useful part of a man's training, but growth is as essen
tial to his becoming worthy to be trained. Vigor
ous effort may make a man rediculous but it does him
good. And aside from over-ambition there is a spec
ial reason why western students should not have as
good literary taste as those in the older states; they
and their people are sojourners in a strange land.
Such a community will have far more energy than
taste. Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the true
student of literature must be tumbled about in a great
.library when a boy. To be tumbled about in an emi
grant wagon is not an equivalent for the discipline that
the Autocrat recommends. Undoubtedly much of
the hereditary refinement of the east has been trans
planted to the western states, but it will require a
generation or two of peaceful prosperity before it can
bring forth its perfect fruit.
There is one small but significant fact connected
with the past history of the U. of N. that should be
kept in mind by our legislators this winter. It is the
fact that Dr. C. K. Adams declined the chancellor
ship of this institution partly because he was afraid of
political intermeddling with its "ffairs. Let any
one who thought at the time that the Dr. was unduly
apprehensive consider carefully the present situation
and he wil.l be undeceived. There is now money in
the treasury belonging to the University and the
University needs new buildings; it would surely not
take much ot a statesman to understand that the
sooner this money could be used the better it would
be for all concerned. That the appropriation bills
placing this money at the disposal of the regents
do not pass without opposition is owing entirely to
political considerations. Lancaster Co. is looked
upon, perhaps with justice as the most hoggish coun
ty in the state. She has secured the capitol, the peni
tentiary,the asylum and university. Now if we look at
the matter from the politician's stand point, and con
sider every dollar paid out of the state treasury only as
so much plunder to be distributed in that section of
the state vhose representatives can pull the wires
most skilfully, we see that it is "very natural for the
North Platte representatives to try to hurt Lancaster
, by crippling the state institutions located at Lincoln.
In each legislature there are men who see most clear
ly that it is poor policy to starve the state for the
sake of spiting a section, but with many the question
is not how much the University needs, but how
t much they can keep Lancaster Co. from getting.
State governments have come in these Uays to have
little to do except to regulate railroads, and provide
for the system of public education and other state in
stitutions. When, however, sectional greed goes so
far that the legislators would rather see a state institu
tion fail than a county succeed, the outlook is not
the most promising. If the state cannot at present ex
pend as much money as true economy demands
without unduly enriching Lancaster Co., then in
the name of all that's business-like, why are not
some of the public institutions moved away from here,
not piece-meal, but as individual establishments that
have just and honorable claims upon the state? If the
Universty of Nebraska is unworthy of state support
let it die. But so long as the state sees fit to main
tain it, it should be enabled to meet fully the demands
of the times, and should not be compelled to drag
out a miserable existence half strangled by sectional
jealousy and political ambition.
The friends of the University opened the biennial
legislative campaign with an attempt to get the need
ed appropriation bills passed as quickly as possible,
but soon found that their strength was all needed to
defeat a bill for the dismemberment of the Universi
versity, and that its upbuilding could not be thought
of until its preservation was assured. Those who fa
vor a diffused or fragmentary University hold that
the industrial college can never have anything but a
secondary or insignificant existence so long as it is
connected with the other colleges under i common
head. That the part will probably not be as great
as the whole is a proposition that many people would
have been inclined to admit before the present contro-
versy came up, and we would only suggest in the presen
instance that it not only is not, but neither ought it
to be as great. That under the old regime many
students were seduced from the straight furrow of the
agricultural course into the by-ways and hedges of
history, literature and the classics is true enough,
but as the course was then planned and taught it
proved only the good sense of the students, and to
have denied them the privilege would have been to
cut them off from a great educational advantage. It
is coming to be universally acknowledged that col
legiate students are matuie enough to choose their own
studies, and it is a singular commentary on thevalue
of the agricultural course, if those- pursuing it have to
be isolated from the rest of the student world before
they can be contented. It is surely strange that the
literary studies should have to be removed far from
agricultural students, like the marmalade and cookies
that are put beyond the reach of children. We have
confidence in the good judgement of the young men
of this state, and we believe that whenever an indus
trial eollege can present a course that will be as use
ful to them as the courses laid down by the other col
leges, it will receive a full share of their attention.
Until this can be done it is unfair to set up barriers
against their taking the course they want. In short
we believe that competition is a good thing in'edu-