It was taken in June, 1916 and what they’re peering at so intently is the first Campanile. (I can’t resist pointing out the screen door behind the guys sitting on the step. Remember this?)
Zoom in to see what the Thresher had to say about it. It sounds like there was a bit of a good natured rivalry been the two staffs:
Bonus: What the heck, just for fun here are some of the ads from the June 12, 1916 issue of the Thresher, the last before graduation.