Letter to the Editor: A Response to Reclaim HLS’s Message to the Community

Recent events of censorship on campus are deeply troubling. As a proud liberal and holder of multiple minority identities, I have been embarrassed this year by a small group of students hijacking progressive values and using bullying, exclusion, and heckling to achieve progress. I am no longer of the opinion that these students want equality. They seem to want to put their own views, agenda and identities above the diversity this community represents.

Any time the occupiers violate school rules, they invent creative names for their activities. Defacing school property with black tape in the Fall was “Art.” Posters in the fireside lounge are nothing more than a “Decorating Policy.” An occupation of the most-used common space is an “Office of Diversity,” an odd misnomer for a space that rejects diversity. The occupiers, through their beliefs regarding school rules and free speech, have become a law unto themselves.

As a direct consequence of Reclaim’s protest, HLS is no longer a welcoming place. Tearing down posters in the fireside lounge is equally an “act of violence” as the taping of some black professors’ portraits in the fall. An important difference is that there is no question as to who perpetrated the current violations. The impunity those students have enjoyed for their escalating infractions has not gone unnoticed and seems to embolden them. I hope that the students are offered a fair hearing and are brought to face swift and certain sanctions.

Stephen Manuel Silva is a 3L.
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