To The Editors of the CRIMSON:
When I read Mr. David Heer's letter in the CRIMSON of January 7, I had seen for the first time here at Harvard a really dirty jab at a student's character in print. May I answer it, as an individual, not as a member of the Student Council?
Applegate the Mystic was the unfortunately successful champion of an extremely well planned out trick, but Kimball had nothing to do with the mechanics of the Smoker Committee election in which Appellate made his debut. Kimball has been serving on the Freshman Affairs Committee, a group distinct from that which ran the smoker committee election.
Yes, the Council did congratulate the Smoker Election Committee for conducting a vote which had more Freshmen casting ballots than Yard elections have seen in a long time--a vote which probably gave the class as good a chance to loosen up and get to know each other (which is, despite Harvard's high academic plane, the function of the smoker which the committee is to arrange) as they have had since entering Harvard.
Was Kimball appointed to the Council because "he has a friend there." Yes--but there are other kinds of friendships than political ones, Mr. Heer, and some of these grow from the strongly human characteristic of admiring another's work. Chairing well the '50 Jubilee Committee, guiding the preparation of a much needed pamphlet for orientation of entering Freshmen, and the revision of the Freshman Studies Handbook so that he may have a definite idea of what a course's contents and purposes are other than its number, field of concentration, and time of meeting, and writing a 30-page series of suggestions on ways to integrate the Freshman class so that it is a little more meaningful than a number on a bursar's card--these were sufficient reasons for me to favor Kimball's appointment to the Council.
And finally, the "outstanding ability, special skills, and particular knowledge complementary to the functions of the Council" were not, as Mr. Heer claims, mentioned in any vote of congratulations for Kimball's conducting of the Smoker elections for, as I have said, he did not conduct them; they are, rather, the only grounds which should qualify a man to be even considered for one of the three possible seats that may be filled by appointment. William J. Richard, Jr. '49