To the Editors of The Crimson:
Medical School Dean Daniel C. Tosteson's '44 leniency in dealing with a student who assaulted a fellow student at a Halloween party last year is an outright disgrace.
By reducing the original ad-hoc committee's recommendation of a one-year suspension to two years probation, Dean Tosteson effectively indicates that the Medical School does not consider criminal assault serious enough to require more than counseling and community service.
Or perhaps Dean Tosteson does consider it a serious infraction but wishes to avoid the wrath of the politically correct thought police.
Assuming the facts in the January 13 Crimson article entitled "Med Student Put on Probation" are correct, the assailant, Maurice Sholas, was guilty of premeditated criminal assault. He returned to confront two students after having originally left the party on the advice of friends.
He is guilty of racial intolerance, a misdeed that should raise hell in the Harvard pantheon of offenses. Sholas, who is Black, apparently took umbrage with the costumes of the two students, who are white, who went to the party dressed as Professor Anita Hill and Justice Clarence Thomas.
Sholas sought to vent his outrage by delivering a buffet to "Justice Thomas" that required 17 stitches to repair.
Yet Sholas has not been accused of intolerance; instead it was the victims whom an earlier ad hoc committee recommended should be required to write a research paper on "Medicine in a Multiethnic Society."
It leads me to wonder whether the dean's actions would have been the same had the assailant been white and the victim a minority in a case as clearly racially motivated as this.
Tosteson invokes the Hippocratic injunction in an eloquent speech against violence, but instead of taking action to deter further incidents of this kind, he has decided to appoint an ad hoc faculty and student Committee on Racial and Ethnic Sensitivities which will study how other institutions have addressed similar problems.
The question of felonious assault aside, I understand Dean Tosteson's capitulation to the double standard of racial discrimination.
Pandering to hypersensitive minority groups will help to keep the Harvard community one big, happy family. I want a divorce. Tai Wong '92