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U.C. Should Reprimand Ad Board



I am writing in response to William Kirtley's editorial, "The Ad Board Is Composed of Humorless Bureaucrats," October 21. I have to say that not only do I agree with Mr. Kirtley's assessment of the Ad-Board as "biased" and "humorless," I think we, the students, should do something about this trampling of one of our colleague's First Amendment rights.

Of course, I do not agree with Mr. Kirtley's action. As he readily admits, it was inane, stupid and rude. Nevertheless, the Ad Board should not have the right to punish actions that are rude, inane or stupid, otherwise a good number of us would be Ad-Boarded during our time here at Harvard for some of the stupid things we do. The Ad Board should be here to punish us for failing our classes or for violating University laws, not to arbitrarily mete out punishment like Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety. Perhaps if the "victim" of Mr. Kirtley's prank call, Room 13, had asked for Mr. Kirtley's punishment then, only then, would the punishment be justified, yet even the head of Room 13 disagreed with the turn of events.

This is the perfect time for the Undergraduate Council to send a message to the Ad Board. An official council reprimand of the Ad Board's action vis-a-vis Kirtley should wake the Ad Board. If the council is worth the $80 I have donated to it in the last four years, it will do what it has not done in my time here at Harvard--pass a resolution criticizing an unfair Ad Board. Anyone who considers my proposal ill-advised, unnecessary and hasty does not understand this dangerous precedent about suppression of the press.

One thing I pray we all learned from the recent Peninsula uproar is that no matter how frightening or wrongheaded we considered Christopher Griffith's article to be, we never doubted his right to write it. Let us fight this, not for Mr. Kirtley, for us, students with voices, students who will be heard. --Sozi T. Sozinho '97

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