Keeping the Rules

Ask the question, “What opinion have the students of me?” I do not refer to mental ability, but to character, honesty, sincerity, fair minded- ness, good common sense. Or am I vain, mean, egotistic, small, dishonest, hard to ask a favor of, unsympathetic, greedy, careless, and vulgar in thought and word. Remember the end view is character.

How do you look upon rules? Do you look upon them as measures interfering with your well-being? Do you look upon laws against stealing or murders or other laws as interfering with your well-being? They are made to protect you. And so are rules at
a school also; they are made for your protection, not to keep you down. Who are hurt by these rules? None. Who are benefited by these rules? Many.

If you do some things you know are not right, and I seemingly do not find out, do not laugh and feel so good about it, because you could do that, and “Ytterboe did not find us out.” Maybe I know something about it, but think it wisest not to say anything about it; but it may also be, that I do not know any thing about it, because I cannot be at all places at once, neither can I see through a double door nor through a wall.

You say that you cannot understand that it is any great offense; (imbibing intoxicating liquors, smoking, and playing cards) well what do you think about Adam and Eve? Was it a great offense for them to eat an apple? It is a very innocent thing in itself to eat an apple, but look at the consequences of their eating of that forbidden fruit. The whole world sank so low in sin, that it took the Son of God to redeem it, and that only through a sacrifice so great that it is not possible for us in the least to understate how God can love us so much.

I hope you all are Christians.

How much easier it would be for me to let trans- gressions go and not bother myself about them. But that would not be right of me as I have duties to perform and you have a right to demand that I perform them faithfully.

You should all be interested and see to it that all the students keep the rules. There are certain things that we would allow you to do, but if any of you abuse the privilege we will and must deny it, and you all will suffer for it.

If there is anything amongst you going on that you do not think is right, call students together and talk things over and enforce discipline amongst yourselves. Don’t report every little thing, but if you see anything that is seriously wrong among any of the students it becomes your duty to report.

[signed] H.T. Ytterboe

Ole Voices No. 2: Etiquette 101


St. Olaf College: A Selected Chronology

Section I: Etiquette 101
In General
In the Drawing Room
In Public
Dress and Personal Habits
Table Manners
Rules for Boys
Rules for Girls

Section II: Transgressions
Keeping the Rules