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Revel in Violence


By Ira E. Stoll

The staff takes Harvard to task for being excessively concerned about its image.

I disagree. Harvard ought to be concerned about its image, and that's exactly why administrators should allow the Assassin game in the Yard.

For too long, Harvard has cultivated an image of pacifism. In World War II, in Vietnam, in the Gulf War, many students didn't want to fight. The resultant impression that Harvard students are, well, studious, nonviolent wimps has actually hurt Harvard's public image.

Finally, Harvard first-year students are seeing the light. They now revel in violence and want to assassinate each other like healthy, red-blooded Americans raised on television and rap. Rather than quashing the fun, Harvard administrators should embrace this game rooted in violence, which is, after all, as American as motherhood, apple pie or intercollegiate football. It's a chance to improve Harvard's image.

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