Congratulations to Alfred Wright on his article about the University of California at Berkeley (The Big Game and the Barricades, Jan. 3). As a '65 graduate of UCB I was delighted to discover that, for once, a writer has been interested enough in the problem to report the "other side." It is always the Bettina Apthekers and the New Left that the public hears about—so much so, in fact, that they have come to believe that we are all a "bunch of Commies." I hope this article will open up the eyes of a few people because I, for one, am tired of defending my school to people who have depended solely on distorted information.
Yours was the most accurate and understanding discussion of this subject since the sit-in uproar at the university began. As an "Old Blue" from the class of '42, I have read both the public journals and the university statements of the situation on my alma mater's campus. I even went out to the campus to look at some of the students and see the tumult going on during an average day. I found exactly what your reporter found and drew the same conclusions. It is gratifying to know that there are wise people who recognize what meaning can be drawn from these activities.
C. JAY HOLLANDER
In my opinion, the article handles a dangerous and threatening subject much too lightly. It presents an incomplete picture of the true state of affairs in and around Cal, and it skips over too quickly the well-known, identified Communist influence and organization behind the continuing opposition to our country's policies and the Establishment.
The description of the agitators as the New Left paints too mild an image. Why don't you use terms like Communist. Communist-front, Communist youth group or Marxist-oriented when the situation calls for them? You write of these hawkers of protest as a student thing when, in fact, most of those who organize and direct and plan disturbances are not students at all.
If Mr. Wright was trying to explain something about the well-rounded and superior intellect of the Cal student, he missed badly. The "average" student turns out to be a bigger "oddball" than I suspected.
LAVERNE L. FRANCIS
Wright overlooks the same point all writers overlook in discussing this matter. "Involvement" is the current campus fad, just as "cooling it" was back in the '50s. Notice how often the word appears in the windy, self-important statements of the students. Observe how the idea of "getting involved" is applied to almost any venture other than that of attending classes.
As for Berkeley itself, it is a huge, rootless educational factory totally lacking in the traditions and values that typify the institutes of the East. The fact that it is located in a state that has spawned or harbored all manner of oddballs probably contributes to its current turmoil.
Mr. Wright overlooked the fact that the school's administration fostered many of the conditions now existing by making meeting space, a loudspeaker system and other facilities easily available. Granted, a university is not a dungeon, but some direction is needed. Whatever Cal's brainy kids might think of themselves, they are still immature young people who badly need some guidance.
I read with interest your accounts of unsportsmanlike conduct in the stands at various gymnasia (SCORECARD, Dec. 20 and Jan. 10). Actually this seems a bit boorish and even pass�. After all one cannot out-Palestra the Palestra. Instead, we at David Lipscomb College have turned from such high schoolish behavior to a tactic known as Diabolic Mental Warfare (DMW).
Aside from subtle variations, the two basic steps of DMW are 1) a standing ovation for the officials and 2) absolute silence when opponents attempt foul shots. This strategy is not practiced halfheartedly. As he is introduced, each official hears a trumpet fanfare, a drum roll and tumultuous applause. This establishes firmly in his mind a positive association with Lipscomb. It also weakens the poise of the enemy. As for step 2, our foe usually does better from the field than from the foul line. I mean, who can shoot foul shots with 3,500 cataleptic zombies somberly observing him? It's like shuffleboard in a catacomb.