April 14 e-mail 1 from Octavian Timaru

timaru3

On Apr 14, 2007, at 12:38 AM, Octavian Timaru wrote:

Octavian Timaru to Adora, mikuo, ldellatorre, section1 09, minow, csharkey, heymann

Sectionmates,

I promised myself I would never respond to this type of mass e mail but perhaps I can offer a short counterpoint:

I’m sure that I’m not the only [one] who is grateful for how our professors have handled classroom debate this year, no matter how complex and sensitive the issue. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do and while we may not all agree on everything, I think everyone has done a great job (professors and students included) in sharing various viewpoints all year. This is one of the main reasons I’m happy to call HLS Section 1 my home, and I just don’t think it is right to generalize an offensive anonymous spam mail (or even worse, the contents of a website most of us don’t even read) to a section  and school wide problem.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own viewpoint of course, but I for one am disappointed that members of our community feel that HLS has an “alienating” or “intolerant” culture, or that our section has “regularly silenced” any of its members. Harvard is a very, very special place to me and, in my mind at least, it is unfair to put down its amazing and intellectually diverse culture so easily.

I respect our section friends’ right to try to address whatever problems they see in any way they see fit. But I humbly suggest that instead of signing petitions for broad speech codes and extensive curriculum changes, we get together as a section after class on Monday or whenever it is convenient to resolve any differences we think exist in the open and friendly way we’ve discussed issues all year long.

With much Section 1 pride,

Octavian

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