By: The Commentator Editorial Board  | 

Decision on the Dean’s Reception (Vol. 31, Issue 8)

We welcome the request made by Rav J.B. Soloveitchik that, as a personal favor to him, the Dean’s Reception be cancelled. The firm leadership of the Rav in this matter has put an end, for a while, to the growing rift among students concerning the propriety of the Dean’s Reception, and it has removed an unwanted burden from the shoulders of student leaders.

Discussion and debate on this issue has been going on since September. We feel that student leaders have been inept in their handling of the matter. In particular, Student Council has dawdled, hedged, procrastinated, and postponed proper resolution of the problem. Instead, rumors, exaggerations, and misrepresentations of the feelings of various people were encouraged to circulate, confusing everyone. 

Many toes were stepped upon in the process and much mud was slung. Rules of procedure were neglected or wantonly disregarded. A case in point was the unilateral decision to cancel the Dean’s Reception which was made at the February 10 Council meeting. The deplorable chaos and indecision was another example of the typical way student leaders have imprudently handled such issues in the past few years. 

The questions surrounding the Dean’s Reception serve as a manifestation of a larger problem, namely, the relationship between the college, the yeshiva, and extra-curricular activities. This larger problem is still a profound one, and no clear-cut policy statement on it has been transmitted to the students. We feel it is the duty of the student body to run extra-curricular activities as it sees fit. Sometimes, however, a voice of authority is required. 

The Commentator takes this opportunity to reiterate its request that rebbayim who have contemporary background and contemporary interests, who have commanded the respect of students and have been consulted in the past, and whose ideas are consonant with Torah U’Madah, will speak out on academic and extracurricular issues. Perhaps in this way issues may be resolved without the confusion we have seen in the last few months.