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The lost art of thinking
In the not too distant future, a university
professor might make a reference to Huck
leberry Finn and students in the class might
not know what he or she is talking about.
Professors might get the same reaction if
they mention The Diary of Anne Frank,
Darwin’s theory of evolution, or any other
controversial literary or scientific work.
This is the goal of certain feminists,
minority groups and fundamental Chris
tians who are out to censor library materi
als and textbooks that foster sexism,
racism or secular humanism the doctrine
which centers on human interests, rather
According to the American Library Asso
ciation, efforts to censor classroom materi
al have risen dramatically in the past two
The most recent case involves a Mobile,
Ala., group of about 600 parents who are
challenging textbooks they say promote
atheistic humanism and exclude the Judeo-
It will be a sad day for the children of
Mobile or any other town, for that matter, if
the censors’ efforts succeed.
The intellectual exercise that comes from
the discussion of new and controversial
ideas is what stimulates learning and cre
ativity in our educational system.
An American Association of University
.Professors report states that censorship
threatens academic freedom which can
deny students information that will help
, them advance in college.
the same report shows that watered
down textbooks may be driving down test
Friday, Oct. 24,1986
©1986 Collegian Inc.
Anita C. Huslin
William G. Landis Jr.
The Daily Collegian’s editorial opin
ion is determined by its Board of
Opinion, with the editor holding
final responsibility. Opinions ex
pressed on the editorial pages are
not necessarily those of The Daily
Collegian, Collegian Inc. or The
Pennsylvania State University.
Collegian Inc., publishers of The
Daily Collegian and related publica
tions, is a separate corporate insti
tution from Penn State.
Board of Editors
Managing Editor Jeanette Krebs
Opinion Editor Jill Graham
Assistant Opinion Editor Alan J. Craver
Editorial Writers Pete Baratta
Damon Chappie, Donna Saber
Bob King, Doug Popovich
What do you think of politicians who focus, more on mudslinging than issues to defeat their opponents?
“Basically, I don’t think poli
ticians who are into mudslinging
should be in politics in the first
The effect of censorship at the elemen
tary and secondary levels will later surface
at the university level. Colleges and univer
sities will be forced to offer remedial
classes to make students aware of contro
versial ideas and literary works.
Religious revival groups and other inter
est groups claim they have the right to say
what should and should not be in textbooks.
But if these groups get their way, they will
force other people’s children to read text
books filled with evangelical Christian
Such textbooks would only be the extreme
opposite of books biased toward secular
humanism. These books would tell young
creative minds what to think, with no op
By neutrally presenting controversial
ideas or religions, textbooks are not dis
criminating against anyone. If the students
are taught to be open-minded and mature,
they will not in any way be hindered in
practicing their religion just by reading a
Students are made aware of different
ideas by reading textbooks containing con
troversial issues they are not forced to
believe or practice the ideas.
Instead of being told whether a book is
moral or not, students should be taught to
decide for themselves.
Thinking is a skill that must be practiced.
If the move to censor textbooks becomes
more commonplace in the United States,
thinking will' become a lost art among
Sonya Baum, Rich Douma,
Donna Higgins, Sheldon Jones,
Terry Mutchler, Megan O'Matz
Town Editor Phil Galewitz
Assistant Toftn Editor
Campus Editor Celeste McCauley
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plaints should be presented to the editor.
“In Japan, we don’t use that kind
of thing. But I think that, in a
way, it’s kind of good. It’s bad to
condemn each other, but it’s kind
of good to attack the weak point
of the opponents.”
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“It’s.getting ridiculous; totally
out of hand. They just keep say
ing the same things over again.
Like Casey and Scranton keep
saying, ‘you didn’t go to this
meeting, you didn’t go to that
meeting’ and they’re not talking
about unemployment just all
the bad points and not what they
should be talking about.”
ggr Q*lhat does H>l* Stand for?
While the Human Rights Day in the
HUB Ballroom on Oct. 22 had as its
inspiration “to increase the level of
awareness on the urgency of human
rights issues,” according to its chair
man, the program dismisses human
rights of some groups by not involv
ing them. This is the case with lesbian
women and gay men.
Lesbians and gays make up about
10 percent of the population world
wide or more than half of a billion
In only a handful of countries do we
enjoy protection and equal rights,
mostly in Western Europe. Only Wis
consin protects us from discimina
However, nowhere in the world are
gays free from harassment. Accord
ing to a recent study, 63 percent of
gays.have been the subject of some
form of violence because they are
gay; this corresponds to about 15
Most violence goes unreported,
while cases which are brought to
trial, including outright confessed
murderers, are dropped by the courts
because the victims are gays.
This is a disgrace, but in a world in
which many enjoy less freedom than
Americans, the situation tends to be
This has prompted Amnesty Inter
national to list gay activist prisoners
as prisoners of conscience.
As the largest minority group at the
University and one of the most dis
criminated against, the participation
of the Lesbian and Gay Student Alli
ance in the program would have lent
it greater credibility as a positive
force for change.
The organizers have decided to
make students aware of only certain
general arts and sciences
“Well, I think that’s really petty.
First off, they should keep them
selves addressed to the issues
and only bring up relevant things
and not that they’re not attending
meetings. Personal things should
not be brought up.”
human rights issues. Therefore, the
event failed in its efforts.
Sim David Abcrson
Lesbian and Gay Student Alliance
Dinner on Sunday, Oct 19 at Find
lay Dining Hall was a disaster that
calls for action.
If you happened to be a student who
came to dinner toward the end of the
4:30 to 6 p.m. period, you were in for a
You had to wait in a 40 minute line
or longer. Your meal, supposed to be
sausage or plain pizza, was a sorry
excuse. If you wanted to get a salad,
you were out of luck.
You also would have found yourself
eating to the stench of vinegar be
cause tables were being cleaned
while you were eating.
What act of mismanagement can
explain why these students were
treated as second-class dining hall
goers while paying in full?
If Sunday’s meal was the first of
such events it could be forgiven, but
This kind of abuse is usually delt to
customers who eat closer to 6 p.m.
Something must be done.
Housing and Food Services should
research the number of student’s
eating at specific meals and plan
If research doesn’t help, the stu
dent’s arriving for dinner after 5:30
p.m. should receive a discount.
Nothing will be done unless Hous
ing and Food Services hears from
customers who are fed up with the
sorry state of late dinners.
Together, we can get something
“I think it’s kind of funny. My
dad’s in politics and he doesn’t do
that. I think it adds some fun to
the campaign and gives the can
didates more than just the issues
to focus on.”
The Daily Collegian
Compiled by Collegian stall writer Marly Irvin and pholographer Alan Klein
Friday, Oct. 24, 1986
Here I am again, your friendly
neighborhood speed freak, crusading
against the law I love to hate, the 55
mph speed limit. I did research and
discovered some interesting facts.
I was wrong in my last letter that
the death rate is going up. In fact, it
has been steadily decreasing since
1974. This fact admittedly puzzles the
Department of Transportation.
They say in Newsweek that if there
is a correlation between speed and
death rate, “it is simply impossible to
isolate. While there are no clear indi
cators the law saves lives, it does cost
Jim Baxter, president of the Citi
zens Coalition for national Traffic
Laws, is quoted in U.S. News and
World Report as saying, “55 mph
speed limit increases travel time 21
This equates to an extra month on
the road for a salesman who travels
45,000-50,000 miles per year.”
The argument many supporters of
55 mph give is that the government is
trying to protect us.
However, if this is so why are
cigarettes still on sale in this coun
Speeding may perhaps kill some
one under certain conditions.
Smoking will kill a person sooner or
later. Why doesn’t the government
protect us and ban cigarettes? The
hypocrasy goes on.
People do not want to drive 55 mph.
Although polls show that most people
don’t want the law repealed, support
drops when the stipulation is added
that tickets would be given for speeds
as low as 60 mph.
I’ve come to the end of another
letter trying to inform the public of
the ignorance of this law and find I
have a lot more information.
Michael J. Gehman
“They should concentrate more
on the issues. When they go back,
and forth on the radio, it seems
like they concentrate more on
what the other person is saying
than what they believe in them
selves. They should elaborate
more on what their goals are for
The Daily Collegian welcomes
letters from students, faculty,
staff and area residents concern
ing issues and topics of interest to
the Collegian’s readership. With
the semester at the half-way
point, many important issues
confront the University.
Authors must present letters
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All letters become the property
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Prejudice continues to block Penn State's way to further progress
"The night is black without a moon
the air is thick and still.
The vigilantes gather on
the lonely, torch-lit hill."
from “Witch Hunt” by Rush
Today marks six weeks since six students
were asked the question, “How do you think
the climate for black students has changed
since you came to campus?” The comments
were written up in a “Quote/Unquote” section
on these pages
To please Lucifer by rounding out this
hellish mathematical series, I decided to ask
another six students for their answers to the
“The righteous rise
with bruning eyes
of hatred and ill-will.”
“Witch Hunt” by Rush
‘"'You mean, how has the situation changed
for them people? I think it’s improved drasti
cally. Why, I’ve even let myself be seen
associating with one or two of them people. I
think all of Penn State is learning to deal with
them. I’ve learned they’re people, almost like
“I don’t see any tension between blacks and
whites. I don’t see any bitter feelings toward
<y •; ; '**
Kate K. Klanberg
each other. I don’t see anything resembling
racial prejudice. I just don’t see what the
“No, I don’t think much has changed. If
they would only stop provoking the whites,
maybe things would get better. I mean, what
was the point of that shanty town last year? It
just got in the way and looked ugly. Let’s not
forget the anti-apartheid march this past
Who do they think they are, trying to ‘raise
our consciences’ when were trying to get to a
football game? You see, the blacks come here
so they can cause problems. I’d say they’re
getting what they deserve.”
John Birch Jr.
"Quick to judge,
quick to anger,
too stow to understand.
Ignorance and prejudice
and fear walk hand-in
“Witch Hunt” by Rush
“I think the climate is the same for them as
anyone else. It rains on most days, it’s sunny
on others. I don’t understand why it should be
any different for them.”
“As a black student, I really haven’t seen
any drastic changes. I’m not saying there’s
overt racism, but why does the University
support slavery in other countries? I’m still
not saying that there’s overt racism, but the
University might as well have separate bath
rooms with their attitude.
Hell, don’t think I’m trying to say that
there’s overt racism, but sometimes I feel I
should be sitting in the back of the Loop.”
“Things just aren’t the same. My dad re
members the good old days when whites were
whites and black’s weren’t. At least I was able
to come to Penn State so I wouldn’t have to
deal with any bleeding-heart liberals who
John Q. Weatherman
The Daily Collegian Friday, Oct. 24, l!»8f—13
think blacks deserve something more than
Sometimes joking about serious problems
can alleviate some of the pressure when
discussing them. Now it’s my turn to steal a
page from “The Saint’s” book and do a little
Racial prejudice remains a hurdle blocking
Penn State’s way to further progress. We can
talk with real and not-so-real students and
write about this problem all we want, but
what we really need is a strong effort on
everyone’s part to wake up to reality. Our
country recognized that all people are equal
almost 200 years ago many of us have some
serious catching up to do.
It’s time we all think about what we’re
saying. Question yourself: would I want these
things said about my racial, ethnic or reli
gious heritage? The answer may keep us from
saying things we'll later regard as foolish.
If you’ll give it a try, so will I.
“Those who know whats best for us
must rise and save us from
■ Phill Staub is a sophomore in the Division of
Undergraduate Studies and a columnist for
The Daily Collegian. His column appears
every other Friday.
Jim Bob Smith
“Witch Hunt” by Rush