At this year's Homecoming football game three freshman were arrested for the "crime" of rushing the field. Dean Goldsmith seems to think that my "infantile taunting" in the Homecoming issue of the Dartmouth had something to do with this (Oct. 18).
While it is every columnist's dream to be so persuasive as to influence people's behavior, I would like to think that it was the weight of tradition and a desire to follow in the footsteps of their elders that led to the '00s mad dash across the field. My only contribution was to inform the freshmen of some of the unwritten traditions of the school, traditions that I don't think the Dean's Office informed them of during Orientation.
Standing with my class and proudly displaying my '97 jersey was a meaningful part of my freshman year experience. It bonded my class together and made me feel like I was part of something special. I was being initiated into the Dartmouth experience, and becoming part of something bigger than myself.
Over the last several weeks there has been much discussion in The D over grade inflation, the recent elections and the search for a new mascot. There is an ongoing discussion on the "Ecce Homo" column written by Abiola Lapite. Both the writing and the reading of these columns contribute to making Dartmouth an informed campus.
To listen only to the opinions of our professors or the Administration would hardly make for a well-rounded discussion. The Administration, given Dean Goldsmith's Nov. 4 column, seems to desire that upperclassman and off-campus publications would keep their opinions to themselves, particularly when these opinions differ from those of the Deans. It would seem that he wishes to somehow protect the '00s from our improper influence.
Well, although it pains me to disagree with the Administration, I heartily object to anyone that tries to stifle, or even to discourage, the expression of free speech. Dean Goldsmith wrote on Monday that: "Dartmouth students in the Class of 2000 must be permitted to make up their own minds without the kind of infantile taunting in which Lea Kelley has indulged." While my professors in the English and History department have not always loved my papers, they have never compared my writing to that of a toddler.
I do, however, completely agree with the first portion of Goldsmith's statement; the Class of 2000 should be allowed to make up their own minds. In fact, they did make up their own minds. I am sure that Nicole Dielo '00, Alex Schultz '00 and Scott Snyder '00 measured all sides of the issue. They probably read the letter that was sent to them regarding the consequences of rushing the field and they most likely discussed the issue with their fellow students, including upperclassmen. The other members of the class also made up their minds in choosing not to rush. The '00s thought carefully and each, for their own reasons, made their own decision.
Dean Goldsmith also stated that: "The newest members of our community deserve to be apprised of all the facts." That was the purpose of my original column -- to make the '00s aware of all the facts. They deserved to hear both sides of the argument, and to know the opinions of the both the Administration and of their fellow students. To deny them access to our opinion is to deny them access to a large part of their Dartmouth experience.