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Letter from the Editor: Choate Controversy

On the lower left-hand corner of page four of the November 11 issue of The Scroll, a box entitled “Why We’d Rather Be Here Than Choate” containing student quotes was printed. I realize now that it was inappropriate to publish these derogatory, pointed remarks, and I apologize to all those offended. Thank you to Mrs. LaScala and Mr. Merriam for writing letters and expressing your concern.

I regret that the tone of the “Here and There” special issue, which included thoughtful reflections from alumni and current students, was tarnished by this small part of the edition. There is no excuse for this honest mistake; perhaps we were caught up in the excitement of Choate week and chaos of layout, but still it should have been noticed.

The fact that no one on the editorial board who saw this box was alarmed by the animosity of the quotes speaks, however, to a larger issue. I hope we can use this to generate discussion about the nature of our rivalry with Choate. While friendly competition is healthy, we should question when it crosses the line. I encourage you to send The Scroll your opinions at scroll@deerfield.edu, and we appreciate the constructive criticism.

2 Comments on Letter from the Editor: Choate Controversy

  1. Robert Almy (Class "69) // December 27, 2009 at 9:15 am // Reply

    Ms Cobbs

    This is not a letter to the editor, but rather a request.

    I am a firm believer of reading source documents and forming my own opinions. I have also made my share of public gaffs.

    I further believe rather strongly in the freedom of expression (including the press) as well as the necessary role of mistakes in personal and professional growth.

    I cannot seem to find the original offending material in your archives (which may be understandable). Would it be possible to provide me with the text?

    Thanks
    Robert Almy (’69)

  2. George M. Covington // January 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm // Reply

    Dear Editor:

    I did not read the Choate article, and it may have been (as Bob Merriam suggested) a bit juvenile. Nevertheless, it generated interest and comment, so keep it up. I was editor-in-chief of The Scroll in 1959-60. We put together a nice looking paper that was well proof-read and relentlessly boring. I tried to initiate a man-in-street column with a question about the pending Kennedy-Nixon election, and I was told unequivocally by the Head (the legendary Frank Boyden) that under no condition could any controversy make its way into the pages of The Scroll.

    Newspapers aren’t worth the trees they are printed on or even the electricity they consume on our computers if they don’t generate discussion and controversy. It sounds like you are trying to do exactly that, so hold your heads high and keep it up. I have no doubt that you produce a better paper than we did, notwithstanding the awards we won.

    Regards,
    George Covington ’60

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