The stifling of free expression is more harmful to society than any given idea which one may choose to suppress. This is even more true at a University, for how can one develop an informed opinion without being aware of the different arguments?
At Harvard, postering is a major vehicle of expression for campus organizations; in fact, for many it is their only outlet. We approve of the College's policies which prohibit, subject to severe punishment, the destruction or removal of a poster or posters from College bulletin boards and kiosks. This rule is all that protects the integrity of postering and insures that groups with something to say still be heard.
Moreover, we oppose current Harvard regulations which restrict postering to official student organizations or groups of a certain size that ask for special permission, and our standing policy is to poster for any Harvard students who do not have the administration's permission to do so in their own name.
Recently, controversy has appeared between the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality (AALARM) and other Harvard students, particularly those from the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Students' Association. In general, each group accuses the other, or its sympathizers, of removing or covering over its posters.
In one particular case, a Harvard student, Joshua Oppenheimer '96, has admitted pulling down an AALARM poster, and AALARM has insisted that he be punished. If this is true, his actions were wrong.
We hope that the whole Harvard community will keep in mind the importance of maintaining free speech; that upset individuals and groups will use appropriate methods in responding to other groups (forums, tabling, postering, protests); and that the Harvard administration will treat recent events with the appropriate concern. This is the only way for Harvard to be the center of education it claims to be. Robert W. Yalen '95 Director Civil Liberties Union of Harvard