The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, May 03, 1902, Image 1
v; vol. xvm, no. xvii LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, SATURDAY, MAY 3, 1902 ESTABLISHED IN 1886 COLLEGE SETTLE,ME,NTITS AIMS Establishment in Lincoln of an Institution Which Has for Its Purpose the Amelioration of Some of the Distressing Conditions that Confront the Poor The announcement of the approach ing completion of the house erected at the corner of Twentieth and N streets. by the College Settlement association for its new home, has occasioned so many inquiries that it is believed a brief review of the association and its plans will be a topic of real interest to the people of Lincoln. A word of preface in regard to the origin of the idea may not be amiss, as doubtless there are those unacquainted with its 'alins and methods. F The initiative in this movement was tm taken by Arnold Toynbee an Oxford p student who, conceiving the idea that the poor might be brought to a bet- "- terment of their social and industrial u 'condition through the example and In- - . , flueiice of a model home established In their midst, devoted his short life to , . the. work in the worst section of East London. "Toynbee Hall," erected as a memorial of his life and idea, became the centre for redeeming. East London, and the parent of the, "halls" now .scattered all over the world. In Amer ica the eastern colleges first took up the work, and located "settlements" in the worst districts of the great cities. Today these centres may be found connected with every important col lege and university in the land, and have extended from large to small city, and even to rural communities. Men and women of wealth, social position, and educational acquirements become "residents" in these "settlements" and thus a living part of the people of the neighborhood. The aim of all Is to help those less fortunate to help them selves. The idea of charity is wholly absent. Those who are often so widely separated Into social classes are brought together and questions of mu tual or diverse interests are presented and discussed from all points of view. Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chi cago, stands today as the most noted leader of this movement. Great buildings- on Halstead street have sprung into being under her magic touch. Summer outings, mothers' clubs, read ing and amusement rooms, recreation ' and play grounds, cleaner streets, and - better government indicate a few of the lines of work and results of Hull " House. Graham Taylor, of "Chicago Commons," has reformed in large part the life of a ward, and so strong has become his work, that the University of Michigan has established a fellow ship, the holder of which lives for a half year or more at the "Commons" to study college settlement methods. Unde Mr. Taylor's direction investi gations are carried on by more than I .thirty "residents," who give their time jjP.and strength to the work in hand. Hp Whole neighborhoods have been trans r formed in every city in our land, and yet not a worker of the hundreds in this movement receives payment for his services. In -some cases expenses are provided for, but salaries are never given. The work was first taken up in the University of Nebraska in 1896 by Pro fessor Wolfe, who, accepting Professor James' theory that emotion without ef fort is enervating, sought in settlement work the means of giving expression to student altruism. The social needs of Lincoln were in no way the needs of a larger city, and the result of stu dent effort upon the classes among whom they worked was for the time regarded as of less importance than the influence of the endeavor upon the students themselves. Preliminary in vestigations by Professors Wolfe, Possler, 'Hodgwffiir'and others, led to the calling of a faculty conference, and, soon after, to the adoption of a constitution and a formal organization. After a period of introductory activity on the part of the faculty alone, the working board was reorganized, so as to include three faculty and four stu dent members, and. the latter at once pressed Into active service through the has been of more practical value or more popular than that In manual training, begun at first with the simple Sloyd system and the use of ordinary Jackknives, and quickly rising from an initial attendance of ten to the un comfortably crowded number of forty, with still others desiring to Join. A reading room supplied with some two hundred bound volumes and numer ous magazines, and a collection of pic tures, loaned out in turn among the various homes, were additional meth ods of neighborhood instruction and elevation. The people of Lincoln have through out entered very heartily Into the col lege settlement work, aiding it by their contributions and encouragement, and assisting in Its development, until the movement has become much more than a mere university affair. A sec ond reorganization of the board has recently been made to include three members from the city Messrs. J. E. Miller, G. W. Rhodes, and Mrs. G. M. Lambertson, and with its new home the work enters upon a new and larger l. COLLEGE SETTLEMENT BUILDING. Twentieth and N Streets. ; organization of numerous committees for the conduct of various lines of the work. Mr. and Mrs. Fauquet first took up the actual "resident" duties in the location chosen at Eighth and X streets, and night schools, sewing school, entertainments, games, and other means of social inspiration and betterment gradually Introduced. Of the numerous lines of instruction none field. Instead of a mere "model home," the intention is to now make it a sort of social "clearing house" a place where different social strata may met for amusement and Instruction, where boys and girls may find attractions sufficient to keep them from the streets and, if necessity demands, a place where mothers may leave their chil dren during working hours. The new home, a view and plans of which are presented In the accompanying Illus trations, Is a large house, 28x36 feet square, two stories In height, with ten rooms, besides basement and garret. Both of the latter will be put to good use, the basement being Intended for the manual training work, for which ten benches and a full supply of ex cellent tools for ten workers afford a most encouraging equipment. Furnace heat, gas lights, and sanitary sewer age will assist In making a model dwelling. The ground floor rooms may be used for reading, study, or games, or may be thrown into practically one large room for auditorium purposes. The association regards the outlook for the coming year a3 most encour aging. The board has succeeded In securing Mr. Prevey, the efficient sec retary of the Charity society, as the "resident,"" to begin his duties In the fall. His wide experience In social work, and his still wider sympathy with those who will be his neighbors In the true sense of the word promise by far the most successful year in the history of the "settlement." But it is not alone In the fact that an efficient "resident" has come to the aid of the association that success may be predi cated. The new house, the better equipment, the more cent nil location, and above all the deep sympathy shown by faculty, students, and citi zens cannot help but inspire all to re newed energy. The settlement Is not an "institu tion" or a "home" In the sense of a charity home, but a real home with Its doors always open to neighbors, rich and poor alike. The college set tlement does not aim to duplicate any work now under way by other asso ciations. Its purpose Isunlque. and its field unoccupied. It does not dis burse charity. It strives to make charity unnecessary. It does not enter directly Into the religious field, yet Its every effort will be to make for mor ality, and against the low and the vul gar. In Its educational efforts It will not duplicate the work now carried on, but strive to reach those who cannot take advantage of the public schools. Evening classes will be formd, and instruction given In manual training and domestic service. 'Those who be lieve in this movement, and all are rapidly coming to be Its friends wish to offer a common ground of meeting for radical and conservative: for worker and employer where one is Just the equal of 'the other in rights: for the refined and those whose advan tages have been less. In short the plan requires sacrifice and devotion; not a spirit of patronage or of pride. The common brotherhood must ever be In mind, and the welfare of city, state, and nation the goal towards which all efforts shall tend.