Salient Board Aims For Moderation

The Harvard Salient elected a new slate of editors Saturday, who say they are committed to practicing a more compassionate brand of campus conservatism.

“We hope to be gentle and kind, to reach out to people with our message, and to engage them in a critical dialogue,” said new publisher Travis R. Kavulla ’06.

The newly-elected editors reflect a more diverse set of beliefs than their predecessors, according to Maximilian A. Pakaluk ’05, who was elected editor Saturday.

“On social issues, there is not necessarily the same consensus,” he said.

“The higher-up staff last time consisted of people who would consider themselves to be social conservatives,” said Kavulla, who described himself as a libertarian who supports gay rights.

The new guard was elected after a tumultuous and controversy-filled year for the previous Salient staff.

The Salient faced accusations of homophobia last May after former editor Gladden J. Pappin ’04 wrote in The Crimson that the College should do more to promote morality on campus and should consider disciplining homosexuals, “whose activities are not merely immoral but perverted and unnatural.”

Two of Pappin’s suitmates resigned from the Salient in protest.

Pakaluk said yesterday that he agreed with elements of Pappin’s beliefs, but added that his more traditional Salient stance was not inconsistent with the publication’s new face.

“When I speak of a ‘kinder and gentler conservatism,’ that has nothing to do with going back on my views and beliefs or watering them down, but simply presenting those beliefs in a positive and attractive light,” said Pakaluk.

According to Kavulla, The Salient’s leadership—which also includes Kathryn A. Tiskus ’06 as managing editor and Paul C. Schultz ’04 as business manager—is seeking to collaborate with like-minded groups in hosting “broad conservative events.”

Kavulla cited as an example the Conservative “Coming Out” Dinner of years past—a meeting for conservative students to discuss their beliefs—hosted by The Salient, the Harvard Republican Club, and Jews for Conservative Politics.

Pakaluk stressed that The Salient is more concerned with moral issues than with politics and “is not the newspaper of the Republican Club or of Republicans in general.”

The Salient will publish its first issue of the year, examining “the far left wing and its recent campus activity,” next month, Kavulla said.

Salient reporters are “going undercover” to gather information on left-wing campus groups, said Kavulla, who today will don hippie garb to do field research at a Copley Square political rally for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Kavulla, Tiskus and Schultz are also Crimson editors.