FEBRUARY 9, 1949
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Vassar College authorities voted the other evening to comply with a request made some time ago by the Council of Veterans Organization to arrange for four courses to be given on Monday and Thursday evenings of each week, beginning February 17 and running through June 2. The subjects—American Writing, Introduction to Accounting Principles, Social Problems and Social Services, and Chemistry—were chosen because of the demand for them. The courses carry credits and are open to veterans and non-veterans. A moderate fee is charged, and applicants must hold a high school diploma and be 20 years of age or older.
This plan is a real service to the community, and, if it is successful here, other college communities may undertake to do the same thing. This would provide an opportunity for many people who are really interested in learning to continue their education. One can, of course, elect to take a course without credits, and Vassar has warned that it will not give a course unless 20 persons enroll.
In the mail I have received from a young Englishman, who is teaching at one of our boys' boarding schools, a copy of a paper that his class gets out, called "News of the Day." This represents just another one of the schools that can boast of active and interested young masters who are giving the older boys an opportunity to think about the real problems of the day, both domestic and foreign.
I wish something could be done on a nationwide scale through the information bureau of the State Department to provide these young and enthusiastic minds, in public and private schools, with authentic information straight from Washington. Such a service could explain policies and give the reasons for actions that are taken. Perhaps, as an added feature, a radio program on which various government officials explained up-to-the-minute problems in as simple a way as possible, could be started. This would be a vital aid in the preparation of our young citizens for the use of their franchise, and it wouldn't make too great a demand upon the time and thought of the busy Washington officeholders.
The preparation of new citizens who come to us from a foreign country as well as the preparation of our own youth for the use of their citizenship seems to me vitally important to the future of the country. Democracy is not the easiest form of government to understand. The fact that each citizen must play his part if democracy is to function properly makes the right type of preparation essential for the good of the country.