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To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
I have watched with amazement the reaction of the Harvard community to the small band that has questioned education at Harvard over the last week. For me they are the first breath of fresh air to blow through Harvard yard in a long time. This is the place that the New York Times believes is the bell-weather of universities. Harvard Black studies has been approved and the black students had to shut up. Harvard's "landmark" action showed only that the power structure, who happen to be more academic here than elsewhere, have taken the time to read about San Francisco State and what could happen, and Stanford and what has happened. So along comes King Collins.
SDS repudiates him unequivocally as if Collins was some kind of different rebel fighting a different war. Ronald Janis moans about how Collins will upset the applicant and bring down repression on our heads. Surprise, surprise! In California, college radicals have their phones tapped and play dangerous games with plainclothes cops on campus. At Harvard we had Paine Hall and bursars cards. The CRIMSON editorializes about the sacrosanctity of Harvard education, as Soc Rel 149 is being attacked prelude to phasing out, despite its huge enrollment. So Collins gets two years on a phony dope rap. Two years. And we all understand that his biggest crime was disrupting Harvard education. We note that the only creative response to Collins came from the professors.
And Harvard grinds on. Excellence by association. Harvard is the greatest university (any foreign student will tell you that). I am at Harvard. I am great Syllogism. Don't bother me with Harvard's relationship with Cambridge, or rent control, or Mather House, or Harvard's investments in South America. Don't bother me with the fact that no one's ever seen Pusey. After all, Columbia can't happen here. Harvard isn't run by businessmen but by academics. We're proud of that.
Harvard is run by a businessman mentality. Its academics are sick with manufacturing, publish, and Potomac fever. Professors sit on their Harvardness and preen before Time and the New York Times who publish vanity as sincerity and academic conjecture as fact. The Harvard degree seems to insure that you will never have to deal with stupidity as you learn to handle power. For all too many, the Harvard degree has become an affliction for themselves and for others ("There is no role for the white liberal. He is our affliction"--James Baldwin).
I've no faith in the elitism of Harvard that lashed at King Collins, because I think that the good people are out in the streets. I've no longer any faith in the radical element at Harvard, because they were blinded by their own rhetoric and, when opportunity knocked, they affirmed Harvard and not freedom. Perhaps with that reaction they separated the two completely. Finally, I think that peaceful change in this society is doomed as long as the lookouts on the watchtowers are too busy shining their armor. Coburn Everdell Graduate School of Design, Architecture
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