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Secret Court Rightly Punished Immorality

Letter to the Editors

By Gladden J. Pappin

To the editors:

Not only is The Crimson wrong to call for the posthumous awarding of diplomas to students expelled from the College in 1920, but it is wrong to lament their expulsion at all (Editorial, “An 82-Year-Old Mistake,” Dec. 6). To exaggerate as “cruel persecution” a very appropriate disciplinary move by the College is to declare that the College should not attempt to maintain any level of moral decency whatever. Today, indeed, as the College freely distributes contraceptive devices to encourage sexual activity among the students, it positively subverts traditional morality.

The College should have its disciplinary policies not simply to maintain order on campus—thus its various regulations on alcohol and partying—but also to act in loco parentis by upholding for us at least something of a moral framework. This is all the more important during the college years, when arriving adolescents learn to manage their freedom and thus become adults.

Unfortunately, promoting morality is something both the College and religious ministries on campus do very little of these days. The College should reestablish standards of morality and strongly consider disciplinary measures for those violating them. Such punishments would apply to heterosexuals, of course, but even more so to homosexuals, whose activities are not merely immoral but perverted and unnatural.

The supposed scandal over the expulsion of sexually active “gays” in the 1920s has already received much more coverage than it deserves. The Crimson ought not seek to prolong it merely, as it seems, for the publicity that may accompany their calls for setting things right. Moreover, if The Crimson were to seek an accurate understanding of the College’s actions during those years, it would investigate as well whether the College expelled any students guilty of fornication or adultery. To focus simply on the expulsion of homosexual students only serves its agenda to promote acceptance of lifestyles better ignored and repressed by all of us—including the administration.

Gladden J. Pappin ’04

Dec. 7, 2002

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