Saturday, April 29, 2006

Layton wins Spotty!

Wilbur L. (“Bill”) Layton wins a Spotty for this letter in the Star Tribune on Saturday, April 29th.
Moos handled it well

Katherine Kersten, the cheerleader for the narrow-minded, has done it again.

As a former vice president of Student Affairs at a major university [it was Iowa State University in Ames, by the way] during the student unrest days, I was dismayed by Kersten's simple-minded approach to what was an extremely complex situation.

I admired President Malcolm Moos' handling of the 1969 situation. As a former professor at the University of Minnesota, I applaud the school for celebrating the outstanding achievements of several returning alumni who were involved.

In 1967, 20 college vice presidents of Student Affairs founded the National Vice Presidents' Group, which still exists today. We were in constant communication as we attempted to find the best ways to handle unrest during that era.

We observed that university administrators and government officials who took the hard-line approach Kersten espoused played into the hands of the protesters, precipitating violence and destruction.

The tragedy at Kent State is probably the best example. Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes overreacted when conservatives pressured him.

After the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., black students began speaking out about their legitimate concerns. However, many universities were insensitive to those concerns, so the students increased their attempts to get sympathetic attention.

The University of Minnesota responded appropriately in 1969.


A Spotty is awarded to someone who pens an op-ed piece, a letter to the editor, or a blog post or comment expressing sentiments that Spot wishes he had put in a blog post. Spot, da Wege, and Jambo have all commented on Katie’s column referring to the incident.

Now we have a person who was a university official during those times commenting on the University of Minnesota’s response. Katie, who was a sanctimonious young twit at the time, would have preferred the “bust some heads” approach. Of course. Spot thinks he’ll stick with Layton’s advice.

Police State Kate undoubtedly thinks that gunning down students at Kent State was a wise and measured response.


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