Hanover College Triangle
Articles on Military Training for World War I

(Dec. 1, 1917)

Transcribed from the original document in the Duggan Library Archives.

"Problems We Must Consider" (editorial), Hanover College Triangle, 1 Dec. 1917, 2.

{1}While all the talk of military drill in its favorable aspects is going on here at Hanover let us stop for moment and consider some of the problems we must thresh out before taking a final step.

{2}Agreed that military drill is a mighty fine thing, and something which not only is of physical but also of mental and moral good to the man who take it. If Hanover were only made up of that class of fellows the members of which prominade [sic] the sidewalks with their lady loves every afternoon from four to six, there could be no objections - - indeed these would be scarcely a problem. That sort of a fellow is the one to whom military training would do the most good. It would make him spend some energy once in a while on someone other than himself.

{3}We are however, fortunate enough to have in Hanover, some men who are working their ways to some extent at least. Therein lies the problem. If military drill is made compulsory, how will these men take care of their work? Will they be required to attend every drill where no excuses other than sickness are recognized?

"A Student Suggestion" (letter to the editor), Hanover College Triangle, 1 Dec. 1917, 2.

Dear Editor of the Triangle:

{4}I am a student of the College and am interested in the proposed military training schedule for Hanover. While I believe that it should be compulsory to those who take it, I am wondering whether or not it is advisable to make it compulsory to all. Why not have it elective as Social Science or Greek or French? Why not allow those who take this military work a regular four hour credit and have the same rules governing attendance at drills as governs attendance in the class room? Such a plan would certainly be met with approval by the student body. As I believe we owe it to ourselves as well as to our country to fit our minds and bodies for any great struggle into which we may be drawn, The question in my mind is, "Do we really need military training badly enough to make it compulsory to all students"?

Very respectfully,

One Who Stood Up at the Meeting.

"Students Decide in Favor of Compulsory Drill," Hanover College Triangle, 1 Dec. 1917, 2.

{5}Monday morning after chapel the student committee on the proposed military drill movement for Hanover, called a meeting of the college men to find out their mind on the matter.

{6}The meeting was warmly interesting at times but it was evident from the beginning, that the large majority of the men were in favor of the plan. It was generally agreed that the work must be made compulsory if it is to be a success. Last spring it was tried on the voluntary basis and it proved a failure. This time it must have real authority behind it.

{7}The question of time was brought up without any definite decision. This matter will be left to the discretion of the faculty.

{8}It is the plan of the men to wear uniforms as service clothes, that is, they will wear them to school as well as to drill. This matter is of course optional to the individual.

{9}There were not more than seven dissenting votes cast at the meeting so the committee presented the matter to the faculty committee Tuesday afternoon.

{10}The faculty committee will present it to the faculty body who in turn if they look favorably on the project will refer the matter to the Board of Trustees.

{11}It is evident that the establishment of the company would be of considerable work and hardships on the part of some men in college and the faculty will try to thresh out many of these problems before definitely considering the proposition.

Untitled editorial, Hanover College Triangle, 1 Dec. 1917, 2.

{12}During the past week the male members of the student body have been called upon to solve one of the most important questions of the year. The question of military training in Hanover college is a thing that should not he considered lightly, not regarding the other questions that accompany it. Every phase of the situation should be given serious thought in as much as every man in the college is concerned.

{13}There are several students who are opposed to military training and with just reasons to be against such training if it is made under certain conditions and requirements. There are some who for pure selfish reasons are against any kind of training when it takes on the semblance of hard work or personal effort. The first set of men should be listened to and their arguments seriously considered along with those that are in favor of such a project. The second group have a right to their opinion and stand and their votes will be counted with those against the establishment of military training in the college. But, should the matter of personal selfishness be considered when it comes down to the merits and disadvantages of the training? You will all agree that they should not be.

{14}At the mass meeting held in chapel last Monday morning where the question was put point blank to the men of the college it was self evident there were four classes of people in the hall. Those that were heartily in favor of military training; those that were against it for good and just reasons; those that were against it for pure selfish reasons and those that were indifferent in regard to the matter. The first named class was overwhelmingly greater than the combined forces of the other three. The greatest trouble seemed to be with the question of time and duration of the proposed military training to be established. Some wanted to make it "forever," which was foolish to say the least. The question of how long we should have military training is not a thing to be considered. If the time should ever come, whether it be with this present body of men or with an entirely different group of men, the student body can vote it out as it voted it into college. Military training may in time to come become obsolete so far as the student body is concerned but we will all agree without any hesitancy that the training that we will get, if military training is established here, will advance us far above those college men who have not had training while in college. It will give us greater assurance of getting a commission if we ever go to the army, as most of us probably will have to do. Furthermore, military training will prepare us for the ranks and at the same time we will he helping our army officials in getting ready to send soldiers over seas. So leave out the question of time and consider those things that are confronting us at the very beginning.

{15}The question as to whether military training should be compulsory or whether it should be made elective to those that sign up for the drill. The student body was divided considerably on this particular question. Those that were against it for selfish reasons used the voluntary system in order that they might hide behind it. Under the voluntary system there would be some students who would not think of signing up for training. For the sake of efficiency compulsory military training should and ought to be established in Hanover College. That is, if, any form of military is established at all. Of course there are those that are mustered into the Madison home guards, they should not be compelled to drill with the local company unless they wish to do so. Compulsory military training will meet every able bodied man in the college and compel him to devote his time to at least three hours per week of drill. It will give the authorities something to work with; it will give them a foundation to make those who sign up for drill to take it; it will give them a basis for punishment over those who do not attend to regular drill. For the sake of efficiency compulsory military training is the only form of military training to establish in Hanover College.

{16} Besides these two major questions there are a large number which envolves [sic] different classes of men, for instance the Senior class who are not disposed to expend any large sum of money in uniforms unless they can get just renumerations [sic] for their expenditure at the end of the college year. There will be many cases of individual difficulties but they should be considered from the standpoint of what would be done if military training was already established. All these things are worthy of the serious discussion that the student body and faculty can give it. And only after sane and deliberate investigation of the possible outcome ought any form of training be established in Hanover.

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