Reporter's Notebook

Is This the Ivory Tower? (or "Required Reading")

When Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature yesterday, we thought we would ask Harvard's literary elite for reactions.

However, it seems that one member of the literati is a little behind on the reading list. When a Crimson reporter asked this person about Morrison's honor, she got the following response:

"I've never read any Toni Morrison, and you must never tell anyone that." The statement wasn't made off the record, but we thought we'd give the scholar a break.

Well, At Least She Was Nice About It


The ongoing Dunster tutor conflict has frayed some nerves in the house by the river. People don't want to talk much about it, including Master Karel F. Liem, it seems.

A Crimson reporter called the master's office this week, and Liem wasn't available. The secretary offered to leave a message, but when the reporter identified himself, the secretary had this to say:

"Oh, yeah, [reporter's first name], we won't be taking your calls. Okay?" Then she hung up. But she was polite.

File? What File?

As attention focuses on streamlining government, freedom of information is becoming a big loser.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination--already to underfunded that it has but one typewriter--regularly violates the Massachusetts Public Records Law because of the slowness of its response to public information complaints.

The speed of response is not the only problem. Last month, a Crimson reporter looking for the complaint of Harvard police Sgt. Kathy Stanford was totally rebuffed.

MCAD Public Information Officer Jane Brayton said the complaint appeared on her computer as having been filed. But Brayton said that somehow, Stanford's file had been lost.

She promised to keep looking, and said she would let the Crimson know when she found the document. We're still waiting.

"No Comment"--Wait! Can I Change My Answer?