PLATFORM : A War Zone of Thought


Colleges and universities are guardians of what is valuable in culture. They are responsible for guarding and transmitting national religious and moral values and political soundness. But therein lies a potential war zone of thought--a naked and powerful conflict between acceptance and rejection, discovery and protection, the quest for the new and the questioning of the old. This tension between the accepted and the experimental, the transmission of knowledge and values and the advancement of learning must exist in a healthy college or university. Instead of being angry or dismayed by the debates about political correctness on our campuses, we should participate in and enjoy them, for something good might come of them.

In a free society, self-correction is ever present. If the changes are valid, serve human need and achieve acceptance, they will survive in whole or in part. If changes, however, are found to be selfish and destructive, they will be discarded.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Apr. 15, 1991 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Monday April 15, 1991 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 5 Column 5 Op Ed Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Platform--David Alexander was incorrectly identified in his commentary published April 12. He is president of Pomona College in Claremont.

We must remember that what is new has the special burden of withstanding the defense of what is older. It too must be tested.