Theses Are No Joke

To the Editors of The Crimson:

On March 22, in an article entitled "Tired Seniors Celebrate Completion of Theses," a Crimson reporter misused two statements, I made. He first quoted me as saying. "In the FeDepartment you get a not bad summa," but to the Gov Department you get a very good, no distinction.' "The way in which this quote was used by the reporter misrepresents completely the context and intent in which it was said. It was part of a joke during a conversion which included myself, four Government concentrators and one Economic concentrators.

The Economic concentrator was handing in his theses a day late, and joked that he was not worried because his department's penalty would not be severe. It was then that I teased him with the above quote Everyone at the table laughed and enjoyed it. In no way was it meant to be taken seriously. The reporter made it seem as though that statement was made during an interview and reflected a serious consideration of the differences between the Government Department and the Economic Department. Nothing could be turned from the truth.

The second quote was taken completely out of context. The reporter used the quote as if it were an affirmation of his position that the Social Studies Department is an some way less rigorous than the History and Government departments. The way in which he use the statement could not have been further from the way in which it was intended. After visiting my advisor at the Social Studies Department earlier in the afternoon I was simply relating to the other seniors ar the table the difference in the reception given by the two departments. What I said was. "The Social Studies Department really knows how to treat you. You hand in your thesis, and they give you a party with champagne, they pat you on the back and tell you you're great. While at the Government Department you hand in your thesis and the first thing they give you is information about your generals."

This is poor quoting for two reasons. One was the way in which these quotes were misrepresented. The second was the way in which the quotes were acquired. While this reporter makes it seem as though he acquired these quotes during an interview with me he annotate did nothing more than overheat conservation between is their theses.

Having just completed a thesis, I understand the effort and the discrimination it takes to successfully write one in any department. The attempt by the Crimson reporter to demgrate the efforts of those in any department through the misuse of my words is deplorable. It is truly unfortunate that what should have been a time of unmitigated joy has been turned into something ugly by irresponsible journalism. I hope the Crimson will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again. Barry D. Ford '85


The editors believe the remarks attributed to Ford were directed toward the reporter in question and were quoted accurately. Given the humorous tone of the article, the editors did not find it necessary to say that Ford was joking.