This well-intentioned attempt to promote values that the Harvard community generally shares, such as egalitarianism, tramples on other values that the Harvard community generally shares, such as individual responsibility, freedom of choice and assembly, and so on. The USGSO Committee's letter to the faculty states "Core to our stated aspiration is the need to diminish the role of final clubs, fraternities and sororities and/or equivalent exclusive-membership private social clubs on Harvard's campus." If the last three words of this sentence were true, there would be few objections to the proposal. But they are not true. The committee proposes to punish students for engaging in lawful behavior off campus and not on it. In so doing, the proposal abrogates fundamental rights enjoyed by all American citizens, and treats our students like children whose behavior must be coerced rather than as adults who can and should be making decisions for themselves. There are a host of other things Harvard could consider doing to achieve its goals without resorting to draconian and paternalistic sanctions, and yet sanctions are the first and only thing it has ever tried. In addition, as Prof. Engell noted last year during a faculty meeting, Harvard's 5th statute clearly states that decisions about disciplinary matters rest with the faculty, and not with the President. The faculty, and only the faculty, should decide whether to accept the USGSO Committee's proposal.
Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology
Cross posted with permission from the FAS Wiki
Steve wants to know why public hotspots are not secure. Happily, there are ways to make your connection safer
Why are all the free wifi services offered by hotels and airports etc unsecured? I scan networks with AVG and then use TunnelBear’s VPN (virtual private network) whenever I want to use them for anything other than checking weather or news. Steve
There’s often a trade-off between security, convenience and cost. This doesn’t just apply to wireless hotspots but to houses, cars and other things.
Marigold has a broken iPod and would like to hear about alternative MP3 players, mainly for listening to podcasts and Audible audio books
I was appalled to read that Apple is abandoning iPods. I have a seventh-generation iPod that has just packed it in, but I hesitate to spend money on repairs if it is about to go obsolete. Meanwhile, I am happily using my 2008 model, which lacks a radio but is fine otherwise. The grandson declares that this is the moment to get a “proper” phone that will do everything, but I am refusing to submit to blackmail and have no wish to consult the internet at every opportunity.
I am addicted to podcasts and books from Audible, and don’t often play music. Would an MP3 player from another maker still tie up with iTunes and Audible? Could I get one with a radio, preferably DAB? Marigold
Apple is abandoning its traditional iPods because most people with smartphones now use them for everything. However, many current smartphones – including Apple’s – don’t have FM, and none has a DAB radio.