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Freedom for the undergraduate press can not be over emphasized. But the boundary between freedom and license is not to be forgotten. To steer a proper course between these two points is the responsibility of student editors. When, as in the recent case of the alleged "nasty humor" in the Back Bay issue of the M. I. T. Voo Doo, the heads of publications fall to carry out this essential part of their program, there arises the delicate question of censorship from the outside.
To run questionable humor in a student comic magazine patently is an abuse of the freedom of the student press. The discrimination of editors in charge of these enterprises should be sufficient check on so-called "nasty jokes". Violations of propriety such as recently reported at Tech tend to lower the good standing of student publications, and to bring forth agitation in some quarters for strong faculty control of the press. Thus the matter of an ill attempt at wit may easily result in a complete gagging of freedom and prevent the desirable open expression of opinion which is at present such a valuable part of college journalism.
The reassuring feature of the case at Tech is the immediate response of an undergraduate committee in meeting the situation. Since remonstrations were necessary against the policy of the Voo Doo in publishing the Back Bay number, that they should come from other students and not from the Institute authorities saved the day for those who place faith in the responsibility of student leadership. Thus censorship comes about as the natural reaction of public sentiment and is an as inherent part of the freedom of student activities as the right to freely criticize policies of university administration.
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