Times misquotes student survey


A September 13, 2002 Harvard Crimson article cited a survey co-authored by Michael J. Passante, a Harvard student, who stated: “You look at people at Stanford or Yale law schools and they are happier – the future [Harvard Law School] dean could do a lot to decrease class sizes and bureaucracy to improve quality of student life.” The story and the survey were both picked up by the New York Times in an April 4, 2003 article. The Times, however, recently ran a correction after it learned that Passante had only speculated that students at Yale and Stanford might be happier, and had not actually surveyed any students at those schools.

The Times wrote that Passante said, “his survey drew no conclusion, and involved only those at Harvard.”