Let me say a word about the October fifteenth Moratorium as it affects the Harvard community.
I have yet to meet anyone who is "for the war" in Vietnam. For a long time the only questions have been how to conclude it or, failing that, how to extricate ourselves from it. About these matters opinions differ and feelings run high. Though the war and the tactics for settling it are quite properly subjects of individual or group concern and action, they are not, in my view, matters on which the University as a corporate body should take a policy position.
That the University should not express views on political issues-a point which has been much argued over the years-is the principle of chief concern to me. I feel strongly that the long range health of this and other universities depends upon observing it. A second. no less-important point is that the right of dissent does not include the right to force assent. A university must be as concerned to protect the rights of its minorities as to respect the wishes of its majorities. A growing carelessness in regard to this basic principle of civilized democratic life seems regrettably to be present in our community.
On February 20, after the Faculty voted to remove academic credit from ROTC courses, Pusey and the Corporation released a letter saying "it would be shortsighted in the extreme if academic institutions were now to withdraw their cooperation from the ROTC program because of repugnance to an unpopular war. Harvard University will therefore continue to cooperate in the ROTC program..."
Pusey explained that the Corporation made that statement "in reply to a letter-it was a response to a direct question on a matter of deep concern to be University."