- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 8, 2000

Cornell officials do uphold freedom of the pressNat Hentoff continues to write as gospel his second- and third-hand observations of a student protest at Cornell that occurred in 1997 ("Censorship at Cornell," Op-Ed, June 26).Mr. Hentoff was invited to lecture at Cornell last spring, in large measure because of his initial writings on this protest in another Washington newspaper in 1997 and 1998. It's not surprising that Mr. Hentoff's description of his visit to Cornell was short on the details of his public interactions with the campus community. At the question-and-answer period after his lecture and in a pre-lecture meeting with representatives of the student press sessions marked by Mr. Hentoff's repeated interruption of comments from students and faculty alike who attempted to set the record straight Mr. Hentoff made clear that he was far more interested in articulating a position than listening to alternative perspectives.The facts are that approximately 5,000 free copies of the Cornell Review edition in question were distributed widely on campus; of those, some 60 were burned, one at a time over the course of an hour, by students protesting at a publicly announced rally. The protest technique was deplored by many on campus as inappropriate and even counterproductive, but the right of the protesters to burn the papers, tear them up, throw them into the trash or otherwise dispose of them in a lawful manner was protected. Though subject to criticism as well as plaudits from some students, faculty and staff, the Cornell Review has never been censored and continues to be distributed throughout the university.Contrary to Mr. Hentoff's claims, freedom of the press is alive and well on the Cornell campus.HENRIK N. DULLEAVice President foruniversity relationsCornell UniversityIthaca, N.Y.mAs a student at Cornell and the editor in chief of the Cornell Daily Sun, I read with great interest the piece written by Nat Hentoff. He raises stimulating, and disturbing, points about the increasing unwillingness of college administrations to uphold and protect the First Amendment rights of campus publications.We take these rights very seriously as members of the press. Thus, it was upsetting to read that Mr. Hentoff claimed he had sent a letter to our paper and that "it was not published." He seems to be accusing us of the kind of censorship we strongly oppose. In fact, we never received a letter from Mr. Hentoff, although we were expecting one.It is the Sun's policy to publish all relevant letters to the editor that come across our desk. We take our role as the

rimary facilitators of cam

us debate very seriously. We would not do something to jeo

ardize that role, such as not

ublishing a letter to the editor in res

onse to one of our stories. Otherwise, we would be guilty of the same hy

ocrisy that Mr. Hentoff finds in our administration.ARON B. GOETZLEditor in chiefCornell Daily SunIthaca, N.Y.

HENRIK N. DULLEAVice President foruniversity relationsCornell UniversityIthaca, N.Y.ARON B. GOETZLEditor in chiefCornell Daily SunIthaca, N.Y.

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