The College and Reconstruction 57
up the custom also published the commencement address of Mr. L. P.
Olds at a cost of more than a hundred dollars, and were at hard shifts
to find the money.
Though in general serious-minded there are many evidences that
the members of the Societies in those years were not without the spirit
of youth and indulged in some irregularities. It was necessary to have
regulations against coming into the Hall intoxicated, against spitting,
especially spitting of tobacco juice and spitting from the windows,
against reclining in chairs, or on the floor, against laughing and
sleeping. Under the influence of Professor Mills the Societies were
led to pass laws against throwing water from the College Building and
other sanitary laws, which were strictly enforced.
In those days of few students strong loyalties of the members, each
to his own Society, were developed. Did one Society propose to wear
a badge of mourning in honor of the memory of General R. E. Lee,
the other Society felt honor-bound not to wear it; did one Society
propose to march in procession on the day of commencement, as
before the War, the other Society only grudgingly agreed to the
arrangement. There were many complaints of initiation of new
members out of times prescribed by the general college regulations.
Sometimes this partisanship was mischievous, as when the
Philomathesians were annoyed session after session by a member of
the other Society knocking on their door, but he was finally detected
and reported to his own Society for discipline.
How carefully the Societies guarded against any political en-
tanglements in the trying days succeeding the Civil War is indicated
in the character of their subjects for debate. No questions on the late
war or on current political events and tendencies were proposed for
discussion. Even economic and social questions were carefully
avoided. After the reorganization in January, 1866, the first question
for debate was in the Euzelian Society, "Was Bonaparte a blessing or
a curse to France?" and in the Philomathesian Society, "Which
deserves the more honor, Columbus for discovering America or
Washington for defending it?" During all these years most of the
questions debated were