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The Harvard Crimson


The following are excerpts from this year's Crimson staff editorials.


The Derek Bok appointed to succeed Nathan M. Pusey '28 in 1971 was a good man with the right values. The Derek Bok who announced his resignation last week is not the same man.

With each each year in office, Bok has grown more conservative, and more willing to sacrifice crucial values for the sake of tradition or financial success. Ultimately, Bok became an actual obstacle to reform, and he leaves Harvard much the same closed institution it was 20 years ago...his decision to leave was one of the best moves he has made in quite some time.

A. Michael Spence--long known for his methodical, cautious and prudent leadership style--made the boldest move of his career last week. Citing personal reasons, Spence announced that he would step down as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences--the second highest position at Harvard--to take the helm of the Stanford University Business School. While academic observers described the move as a "step down" for Spence, the reality for Harvard is the loss of a talented administrator whose effect on the University will only be seen in years to come...

Weld professor of Law Derrick A. Bell has never been known for his timidity. His recent announcement that he is taking leave from Harvard until the Law School tenures a Black woman grabbed headlines across the country and breathed new life into the school's movement for greater faculty diversity...

But pressure on Harvard's administration, if applied indiscriminately, can have damaging side effects as well. Bell's ultimatum raises the specter of tokenism in its purest form. Is the hiring of one Black woman proof of a true commitment to faculty diversity? And if Harvard does hire a Black woman to assuage Bell, will she only be known as The Black Woman on The Faculty? Will her role as a scholar be undermined by suspicion about why she was hired?...

In the quest for greater minority and female representation, we should not forget the ultimate ends of improved opportunities and education. When the means used to demand diversity begin to compromise these ends, the means need to be questioned.

Now that Harvard men's hockey coach Bill Cleary '56 has been appointed to the post of athletic director, will he trade in the flea-bitten red sweater he wears each game for an administrator's three-piece suit? That may be the biggest question surrounding the transition from Jack Reardon '60 to Cleary at the athletic department...

Cleary should make decisions based on the philosophy he has inherited from Reardon, a philosophy of broad participation and an emphasis on academics and amatuerism rather than athletics and professionalism...if Cleary's sweater does have to go, his commitment to broad-based participation rather than big headline sports shouldn't go with it.

Campus Issues

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...

For the Record

Most would argue that the University ended offical distinctions in its treatment of male and female undergraduates with the final integration of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in 1976. But although men and women now share classes, libraries and dining halls, there is still one thing they cannot share--a room...

And that barrier must tumble if Harvard is to live up to its policy of treating all students as equal and free-thinking individuals. Just as the Faculty recently expressed concern about denying Harvard students free speech rights guaranteed to the public, we all should bemoan campus living restrictions that would be considered ridiculous in the real world...

Hard to swallow, difficult to digest and often painful to look at, the daily offerings of Harvard Dining Services (HDS) are in need of radical overhaul...Among college dining services, HDS is still a lemon.

No bragging phone calls to friends at state schools. No rallies on the Widener steps. No explosion of tee-shirt sales in the Square. By these measures, it's been an off-year for Harvard in intercollegiate competition.

This year, however, hasn't been as bad for the University as some people suppose. Harvard's math team, chess team, bridge team and on-topic debate team placed first in the country against formidable opposition. Put bluntly, we kicked some intellectual butt...

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