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Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number II (Nov. 1936)

Hibbard, C. V.
The student goes to church,   pp. 48-49


Page 48


                                             What about all this Talk of
Atheism
   A    LUMNI, who have ar-                  and Irreligion Regarding the
Students?
        rived  at what may be
        called years of discretion,
        often ask me in a man to                          C, C. V. HhlLarJ,
'00
        man   confidential  way                      V
what I really think of the moral                       Secretary, University
Y.M.C.A.
and religious life of students on
the Campus today. Some seem to
fear that as undergraduates they missed forbidden     brings forth for their
help things new and old. Both
pleasures which the present light-hearted students    city pulpits and student
churches are exceptionally
enjoy. For the most part the question indicates an    well manned in Madison.
honest concern based on rumors or on authentic in-        Sunday night is
marked by a "cost supper." This
stances which they fear may be representative of gen-  begins about 5:30
p.m. with a general all around
eral laxity among students or faculty. I always like  visit followed by supper
served by the students. After
to have this question come up because it gives me a   this comes a religious
service adapted to the tradi-
chance to tell something of what twelve years of close  tion of his church.
During the week there will be
association with the undergraduate and the teaching   "discussion groups."
 A member of the faculty, the
staff has shown me.                                    pastor, himself, or
some visitor will open up some
  A freshman from an eastern state came to Wiscon-    question of personal
conduct, faith, or an issue like
sin, the untamed university, much as Columbus came    choosing a vocation,
marriage, world peace, or find-
to America. He had been active in the young peo-       ing one's place in
the social and economic order.
ple's work of his own and other churches in the home  Many students find
in these discussions a needed aid
town. He was rushed by several fraternities. One       to the digestion of
classroom studies and ideas.
day he dropped in to talk over his impressions. A         THE student pastor
may be running a cooperative
fraternity alumnus had come around to help the boys       1 HE        tu
e  club has be up  a reputative
make a good impression on the prospects. Having        eating club. The club
has built up a reputation for
learned something of this freshman's interests he     good food and goondfellowship
at an unbelievably
offered this counsel "Oh, you don't want to be a       low cost. A hundred
and twenty-five apply and he
Christer."  The freshman commented, "You know, I       has equipment
and space for only sixty-five. To cut
didn't like that."  Then he continued, "But my his-   down the
number with due consideration for each
tory Prof. surprised me. Do you know that guy?         applicant is a task.
The routine of operating a co-
He was lecturing on the rise of Christianity, and did  operative club where
students do the work is so ex-
he tell us! Say he went for that in a large way. He   citing it can hardly
be called routine. Then he may
believes in it and he tried to sell us."  Always the stu-  have a hiking
party and "wiener" roast for Wednes-
dent is subject to conflicting influences. It is interest-  day afternoon,
a social affair possibly an inexpensive
ing to see how some of the positive influences operate.  dance to supervise
on Friday evening. A dramatic
                          positive                     organization will
be perfecting a play, or a musical
  THE religious groups which are largely represent-   group will be practicing.
ed in the student body have set up attractive church     Students are always
dropping in looking for work,
houses about the Campus in charge of competent         lonely students looking
for friendship, students in
clergymen, especially selected for work with students.  love impatient at
the prospect of delayed marriage,
These men are exceptionally well trained scholarly    students who want to
make the world over, students
men of attractive person-                                               
       who are suffering growing
ality. Sectarian rivalry is                                             
       pains as they advance from
scarcely existent.  They                                                
       their inherited childhood
differ sharply as regards                                               
       faith to a mature faith of
technical church  matters                                               
       their own. Sometimes stu-
but each is too much occu-                                              
       dents want help with err-
pied with his own flock to                                              
       ing parents. A divorce is
spend any time fighting the                                             
       pending, father's business
others. A student pastor                                                
       eccentricities have caught
is a busy man. His door-                                                
       up with him, or somebody
bell and telephone chime                                                
       is drinking too much.
far into the night.                                                     
          However, even this ex-
  On every Sunday mor-                                                  
       cellent provision for stu-
ning  during  the school                                                
       dent religious culture may
year the student pastor                                                 
       be misunderstood. An ed-
or the pastor of the city                                               
       itorial published in a high-
church faces students in the                                            
       ly respectable Wisconsin
audience. He knows their                                                
       community interpreted the
problems, impatience, de-               On a glorious Easier morning    
       provisions  of  numerous
spairs and idealism and he        President Frank gives the sunrise sermon
     student churches about the
                                                    48


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