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Last week, the Faculty Council voted to issue a formal statement condemning the miltary's exclusion of gays and lesbians. But formal statements are merely words. When the Council meets again on Wednesday, it should take decisive action to protest homophobic discrimination in the armed forces, and more specifically in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). The Council should recommend that the Faculty sever completely all direct University ties to ROTC.
The Council should not, however, take the extra step of recommending that the University refuse to accept ROTC scholarship money...No longer would Harvard be just opposing discrimination; it would be using economic leverage to force students to change their activities. Just as students receive special money from discriminatory Harvard-based scholarships, ROTC cadets should be permitted to use ROTC money.
The hanging of a Confederate flag in the window of the Leverett Towers constitutes a legitimate--and insensitive--exercise of free speech. Accordingly, the Harvard community has a dual responsibilty; first, to affirm the right of the student to display the flag and second, to register enough thoughtful disapproval to persuade the person to remove it...
Voluntary removal of the flag, not administrative coercion, is the optimal resolution of the current controversy. The Harvard community can encourage this outcome by letting the flag's owner know that even the suggestion of racism will not be tolerated on campus.
In recent months, several conservative campus organizations, ranging from the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality (AALARM) to Peninsula to the executive board of the Harvard Republican Club, have launched a vocal campaign against what they describe as a single, univocal campus left. Concentrating their attacks on gay rights and women's rights, these groups have sought to portray themselves as embattled crusaders for morality in a spiritual wasteland...
These groups have a right to say what they want and as loudly as they want...but no one need be fooled by their rhetoric...There is no battle at Harvard between Truth and Relativism, simply a group of media-crazed loudmouths attempting to impose their bigoted values on the rest of the University.
Everyone experiences a few infamous "firsts" at Harvard. The first walk to the Quad. The first time lotteried out of a Core course. That first glorious mouthful of venerable vegetables.
Not all Harvard rites of passage can be laughed off after a few slugs of Pepto-Bismol, however. Sometimes students are better left uninitiated. A good time to just say "no" is when you receive invitations to parties or punching events at one of the Harvard community's nine all-male final clubs...
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