To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
While the CRIMSON's account of the first-year meeting on grade reform at the Law School last week was accurate, some of the remarks I made were taken out of context, and I would like to clarify our position.
It is true that first-year students are disturbed by the attitude of many faculty members, which is both paternalistic and insulting. Certain members of the faculty have been closed-minded from the beginning. One, for example, read to his class SDS literature which indicates that the issue of grade reform may be used as a catalyst to organize students for disruptive purposes.
Our desire is not to disrupt the Law School, and professors who suggest that reform efforts by first-year students are destructive are displaying a distressing unwillingness to deal with serious issues on their merits.
Just as disheartening has been the unwillingness of other professors to regard grade reform as the main issue. They have regarded the elimination of published grades in the first year as somehow going "too far" and have sought to make other changes that would amount to having more grades in the first year.
We want our three-year legal education to be as meaningful and productive as possible. We believe the cost of grades has become too high, and that much-needed educational reform cannot usefully be made unless there is grade reform.
While the attitude of many faculty members is disturbing, it is certainly not shared by the entire faculty. Several members of the faculty, and of the Keeton Committee in particular, have been very helpful and willing to tackle the issues on their merits, to grapple with difficulties which most--faculty and students--recognize at the Law School. For their efforts and understanding, we are genuinely appreciative. Jonathan Asher '68