CUaD's actions are not analogous to those of Luxon

by Thomas Luxon | 11/24/93 6:00am

To the Editor:

I write to offer corrections to a misperception which The Dartmouth has perpetuated in its latest issues, once in a report on the Conservative Union at Dartmouth's crusade against Spare Rib ("Conservative Crusade," The Dartmouth, Nov. 22) and again in your editorial "Misguided crusade" (The Dartmouth, Nov. 23). Monday's report concluded by implying a comparison between my actions 18 months ago in telephoning a Dartmouth Review advertiser and the CUaD's recent actions against Spare Rib. Today's editorial went even further by equating the two actions and condemning both. I want to point out that there are significant differences between my actions and those of the CUaD.

First, I acted alone. Contrary to the misinformation spread by The Review, I called Mike Blood as a patron of his store. I did not identify myself as a faculty member (although Mr. Blood knows that I am) or as a member of any organization. I regularly bought fish at his store and, as a patron, I asked him to examine The Review closely before continuing his advertisement.

The only part of my activities in this incident that could possibly be construed as "group action" was my use of an associate dean's BlitzMail list to broadcast a request that people stop calling Mr. Blood. Several other advertisers, whom I have never patronized, have since placed ads in The Review. I have called none of them, because I could not do so clearly as a patron.

Mr. Berry is most certainly not acting alone. His is manifestly an organizational effort, complete with formal resolutions and the threat of an organized boycott, according to your reports yesterday and today. Mr. Berry is probably not a regular patron of Campions, perhaps not even of the Derby Farm flower shop.

These two points make his and the CUaD's actions very different from mine, different enough, I think, to justify my asking that you withdraw your conclusion that the two actions are equivalent and equally deserving of editorial censure. I acted alone as a patron of a single advertiser in asking him to withdraw his support of The Review, a journal that represented itself to Mr. Blood as the campus newspaper. Such action is very different from the CUaD's action against Spare Rib, a journal that, to my knowledge, has never willfully misrepresented itself to anyone. Thomas Luxon Assistant Professor of English

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!