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One of Harvard's premier liberal groups yesterday rushed to the defense of a conservative campus magazine, whose circulation has been hindered on several occasions recently.
The Civil Liberties Union at Harvard (CLUH) created and distributed posters throughout campus urging students not to remove copies of an upcoming issue of Peninsula, a student-run right-wing periodical.
Since it entered the campus literary scene last spring, the magazine--which has taken a variety of controversial stances--has had problems delivering issues to the houses on several occasions, according to Peninsula editors.
Last year, several students at Lowell and Winthrop houses allegedly threw away several copies of the magazine's debut issue. And just last month, a student allegedly removed several issues of the magazine from Quincy House.
Joshua E. Burstein '93, CLUH's director, said that while his organization does not necessarily endorse Peninsula's political views, the organization offered the conservative periodical its assistance because "free speech transcends ideology."
"There are some rights that are just natural rights of humans," Burstein said. "Just as the people who stole the issues of Peninsula would not want their rights infringed upon, Peninsula should have the same right to have their voice heard."
Burstein added that CLUH will monitor dining halls and hallways of several houses to ensure that the magazine's distribution will not be hindered.
Sean McLaughlin 91, a Peninsula council member, said he was especially appreciative of CLUH's recent efforts because it "is one more step in the effort to bring Harvard back from the left."
"At least if people aren't destroying [Peninsula], we have a chance to make our views known," he said.
Although hastening to affirm that they do not agree with many of CLUH's viewpoints, members of other campus conservative organizations said yesterday that they appreciated the civil liberty group's joining forces with them to fight censorship at Harvard.
"People who attempt to suppress certain ideas deprive the other students of the liberal education they came to Harvard for," said Kenneth D. DeGiorgio '93, co-founder of the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality (AALARM), a campus conservative group.
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