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Open Discussion

To the Editor:

I would like to state my guarded approval of the statements made by the faculty and staff letter in Tuesday’s issue [“Against Stereotype Propagation,” Nov. 4], as well as Chancellor Clay’s statement [“Chancellor’s Statement,” Nov. 4]. While both expressed intense disapproval of the “ghetto party” e-mail, they did not directly recommend administrative sanctions against the students involved, and in fact the Chancellor recommended open discussion, and I believe this is the way such things should work.

I say “guarded approval,” though, because I am still wary of the possibility that people, in the heat of being offended, might use what power they have to inflict administrative punishment. This may mitigate emotions in the short term, but will only stifle and thus prolong the actual problem. People naturally listen to one another, and we will all benefit the most from open discussion, not official sanctions.

In response to one of the Chancellor’s points, though, I would say that people are morally and legally entitled to their own opinion, including a lack thereof. Leave the bystanders to their own lives and problems. People cannot be directly taught to “do the right thing,” but rather given an environment of open discourse and freedom, they will naturally grow to find their own sense of right and wrong.

Finally, I would also like to commend Stephen Friedenthal ’92 for expressing his opinion against The Tech’s article on oral sex [“Questionable Content,” Nov. 4] without recommending official sanctions. I will add, however, that I believe journalism should reflect reality, and for as long as oral sex is happening all around us, it is only fair to allow its mention in our newspapers as well. Besides, there have been plenty of Tech articles in recent memory more badly written than that one.

Kai-yuh Hsiao ’99