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Editorial, October 5, 1933, Page 2



          That the "New Deal" vogue has extended to campus as well as business is obvious from the various newspaper accounts of speeches delivered at the beginning of college sessions in every large Eastern university. Most eminent from our point of view is the statement made by Dr. Harry Woodburn Chase, recently appointed chancellor of New York University after the resignation of Dr. Elmer Ellsworth Brown.

          Dr. Chase, when asked about the liberal tendency toward student expression which has come into special prominence within the last several years, made it plain that he considered freedom and openness of expression of no harm either to college authorities or to students. Although he made no statements about whether he definitely proposed to sanction a widespread dissemination of propaganda, he was clearly of the opinion, according to metropolitan newspaper accounts, that he "might favor a definite meeting place on the campus where such unquenchable views might be voiced."

          It is not to the point here to make much of the fact that the members of the student council and newspaper at N.Y.U. are supporting the views expressed by the new chancellor at the university. That was to be expected–and probably New York University will become one of the centers of student opinion in the metropolitan college district.

          What is important, it seems to us, is the tendency, which seems almost inevitable, for college authorities throughout the country to have more faith in the good sense of the American college student. The liberal trend seems to be part and parcel of contemporary life. From the White House to the campuses of the United States, the authorities are losing their too ardent conservatism and are gaining a great deal through the loss.

          Democracy is the foundation of American government–and it is as strong in the governments of colleges as it is in the government of the nation. One of the basic principles of democracy has been free speech. It is a good sign when so high an authority as Dr. Chase shows his faith in the intelligence and good taste of college students by giving them opportunities for expressing themselves.

          A miniature Hyde Park on the New York University campus will certainly liven up the university grounds, and it may contribute to the well-being of the students. We hope that they will not abuse the privilege which the new chancellor has offered them.


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May 20, 2004