Operators Are Standing By
NAME THAT LIBRARY
TOO MANY COMMITTEES. In a society that screams itself purple about too much red tape, there should not be too many committees. But there are.
Last week yet another committee began investigating the name of the library at the Kennedy School of Government. The name is Engelhard.
"Not catchy enough," some students proclaimed.
"Too stodgy," said others. "No pizzazz."
"Reeks of apartheid," chanted a zealous bunch.
The proper method of correcting this ignominious misnomer is to hold a rename the library contest. Some entries:
The Biko Library: Make the library a monument to the anti-apartheid efforts of college students across the country. Ratification by those on high is guaranteed. Biko's name symbolizes martyrdom in the fight for human rights and no liberal-minded (however conservative) member of the University administration could in good conscience put the nix on this header. Time Magazine caption: "Biko Tops Engelhard in Christening Contest at Harvard."
The Vorster Library: Two syllables are catchier than three. Despite obvious hurdles, this name has promise. Like an effigy, it stands as an object of political antipathy. Such a symbol could stir students of politics to new heights of democratic dissent. Politicians are doomed to forget; the wrath and indignation inspired by a Vorster library would soon cool. In time, "Vorster" might reel off the tongue provoking as little thought of genocide as, say, "Custer."
The Harvard Public Affairs Library: Objection: Too plain and practical.
The Kennedy Kennedy School Library: Or, of course, "The Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy School Library," though it begins, then, to sound more like a law library. After all, why let only one Kennedy hog the glory of a public affairs school? Objection: The Kennedys have their name on enough stuff already. Further Objection: Spurious newspaper investigations have revealed a Kennedy-if Engelhard was really so evil as some paint him), then perhaps we should think about renaming the Kennedy School of Government. That, however, is another contest.
The Bok Library: Surely Harvard's own Bok, president through nearly a decade of political turmoil, deserves title to his pet project. Aren't there precedents--Eliot House, Lowell House and Pusey Library? Objection: The Bok-Kennedy-Engelhard link provokes images of "blood besotted" dollars. It is best to steer clear of such.
The Solzhenitsyn Library: A solid choice if a bit difficult to pronounce for some. Aleksandr is a bearded patriarch of human rights and his name should inspire decent--if non-materialistic--political thoughts in K-School students. The contest organizers want an inspirational name. Who could better satisfy them? Objections: Tinges and wisps of Socialism and Communism. The guy doesn't even speak English. Newsweek caption: "Solzhenitsyn at Harvard, permanently."
The Joe Restic Library: Multi-flex options for the evasive politician. Objections: Illegal man in motion.
THE ROSOVSKY LIBRARY: Objections: Can a grad school fit the Core? Then, there's the Rosovsky-Bok-Kennedy-Engelhard connection...If offered, Henry would refuse anyway.
The Brooke Library: Out of the Senate, Ed is casting about for a place to hang his shingle. Objection: What sort of example for students is a politician who can't get reelected?
The Engelhard Public Affairs Library: This guy gave the money. Objection: Made fortune using apartheid labor. Further Objection: Suspicious links to Kennedy-Bok-Rosovsky. Objection to the Objections: What do we do with the library now that it's built? Can we return it with the receipt? Final Objection: Has tendency to provoke silly contests.
Back to committees.