Letters to the editor
By Longsworth '57; Liron '03
Open curriculum wasn't so open
In your March 17 editorial "Core curriculum is at odds with Amherst's philosophy" you state that the "underlying ethos of the liberal arts college has always been to allow scholars to pursue their studies as freely as they please."

I suppose that assumes certain gaps in that clearly one person cannot know all things. In history, for example. In fact, Amherst had a core curriculum from 1947 until sometime in the '60s whereby freshmen were required to take common English and history courses, a math and physics sequence and a language. There were further distribution requirements in the sophomore year.

This may suggest that Amherst does not have a philosophy as you assert, but swings back and forth over time from an open curriculum, as at present, to a more programmed and required course of study. Calvin Plimpton, president of the College from 1960-71, said that the best curriculum was the one that gained the enthusiasm of faculty and students, recognizing that the curricular debate has gone on as long as education has been formalized.

The majority of my classmates thought that the rigor of the core curriculum was rewarding and exciting.

So goes Amherst's "philosophy."

Charles R. Longsworth '57

College news has become irrelevant
Reading The Student this semester, one would think that SGO and SFC activity dominates our life. Your March 27 issue went so far as to place "SGO approves new constitution" above news of national, international and historic importance: "Questions surround Teague's removal." In the editorial, you quoted Thomas Paine and compared the SGO to the Founding Fathers. By inflating the SGO's role you are discrediting yourselves as news reporters and making The Student irrelevant.

Tal Liron '03

Issue 22, Submitted 2002-04-09 14:02:54