For my first two years at Boston University, I tried to reason with and work with the Free Press and some of the student organizations involved with relatively controversial issues. This is the second year since then that I have been trying to ignore the usual gross misrepresentations of fact to the student body at large.
I am tired of hearing that all difficulties met by these groups are “Silber’s fault.” We rarely see, or hear, both sides of an issue. It is those people who are encouraging an unfounded, god-like reputation for President Silber. Undoubtedly he is powerful, yet rather than trying to deal with issues with alternative methods within and around the “system,” many times these groups cop out by pointing a frustrated finger at Silber (or Tobin).
The most recent example of this action is with regard to the National Student Conference Against Racism. Some important facts that I do not feel were stressed include: that the conference was announced in St. Louis before the University was even approached; that the plans for security were not discussed with the Security Committee before Friday, February 7; that the standard procedures of the University were not known by coordinators from other parts of the country; that University money (our money) was spent to pay damages from the CLADS conference; and that the decision about security needs to be made by someone when University property and buildings are being used.
It is of vital importance that these facts and issues be made known and discussed. I think that if the planning had been done sooner and in a more integrated fashion, the need to hire Boston police might have been avoided.
As a student at this University, I do not want my tuition and fee money to be spent for damages resulting from the actions of demonstrators. The bond requirement is good, in my opinion. It is, obviously, the responsibility of our University coordinator to keep other coordinators informed; therefore, I do not feel that the charges of irresponsibility of the Union — in this instance — are
unfounded. Also, I believe it is ultimately the responsibility of the University to determine security measures, in conjunction with the program coordinators.
Finally, there have been instances where the administration’s actions, or lack of them, were more clearly questionable with respect to organized resistance of some student programs. It is my contention that this is not the case in this matter, and I think it is about time that issues be dealt with as they are, rather than inflating their relation to more popular issues.