Times Should Encourage Expressions of Dissent

Your editorial "2 Issues Inflame Tensions at CSUN" (Sept. 25) suggests that Cal State Northridge should have delayed a much-needed reorganization of our Educational Opportunity Program by referring the issue to a committee.

You agreed the changes are needed; you note correctly that we had already laid the groundwork for the changes. What seemed to disturb you is the fact that the students protested.

One would think that The Times would be a little bit bolder in its understanding and tolerance of dissent. We understand that the audibility and visibility of racial and ethnic issues make people nervous, but The Times' editorial pages, of all places, should be the first to encourage and support expression on those issues, even if you disagree with the expressions themselves. After the Farrakhan appearance on our campus last year, The Times said "CSUN has had too much of this sort of thing."

Too much? Are we overexercising the First Amendment here? Since when did The Times become such a faint-hearted soul?

The voices you hear at Cal State Northridge are not CSUN's; they are among the diverse voices of our community. You should listen to the ideas underneath the voices.

BRUCE ERICKSON

Northridge

Erickson is director of public relations at Cal State Northridge.

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