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In her Commentary of Nov. 24 ("The Ivy Closet"), Diana L. Adair '98 not so subtly implies that I am a bigot. Given the serious nature of this accusation, it is particularly disturbing that Ms. Adair does not give her readers any evidence for it.
The motivating anecdote behind Adair's article is one in which she is asked by a scholarship interviewer whether she has a boyfriend; she feels compelled to respond positively for fear of losing the scholarship. Citing an article I wrote in the Oct. 27 issue of The Salient, Adair writes, "Had my interviewer been Schaefer...I might not have gotten the scholarship."
The article of mine to which Adair is professing to respond has a very simple thesis: I don't care about what goes on in the bedrooms of my fellow students. I write, "I am not at all curious about what you do in your bedroom[s]." In another instance I respond to statements by BGLTSA co-chair Andre K. Sulmers '98, "Only a small number of people on campus are concerned about the sex life of Andre Sulmers." I further explain, "Most of Harvard doesn't care if you are [homosexual]." I wonder how much more clearly this point could have been stated.
As if these statements weren't enough, I directly address Adair's question about academic interviews. I explicitly praise the Director of Undergraduate Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis '70 for saying, "This is a place open to talent... we don't get hung up on irrelevant attributes." The point is this: if I were Adair's interviewer, I would never have asked her, "Do you have a boyfriend?" It is a rude question to ask anyone, whatever his or her sexual orientation. It has nothing to do with Adair's academic performance, and nothing to do with her qualifications for the scholarship.
Adair's homosexuality is, as far as I am concerned and as far as any interviewer should be concerned, an irrelevant attribute. I do not anywhere in my article imply otherwise. I am deeply offended by Adair's accusations to the contrary.
One final note: as the editor-in-chief of a campus publication, I am upset by the irresponsible journalism practiced by Adair as well as The Crimson's editorial staff as demonstrated in this piece. The following are only a few examples. Adair incorrectly identifies the author of the other article mentioned no less than three times. Adair does not use a single quotation to support her accusations of bigotry. The one quotation she does use in a secondary argument appears in 25 point font in the middle of my article in The Salient. As an English concentrator, Adair should understand when I write that she fails to use the techniques of close reading when constructing her slanderous arguments. --Naomi Schaefer '98, Editor-in-Chief, The Harvard Salient
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