Student Council Cancels Planned Dean’s Reception; Acts At Request of Rav J. Soloveitchik; Move Laid to Split in Student Sentiment (Vol. 31, Issue 8)
President Joseph I. Berlin, presiding at the Student Council meeting on Feb. 10, announced that there will be no Dean’s Reception as planned for February 27, 1966.
President Berlin then read the following statement: “What a man of the stature of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Shelitah, says, should neither be taken lightly nor misinterpreted. While on the one hand this may seem obvious, on the other it is too often disregarded. This situation is particularly apparent when it comes to misinterpretation, and reading into a statement what a person would like to hear. But an individual has a personality and acts accordingly. This can not be prevented.
“In regards to the Dean’s Reception there has been much political maneuvering. In addition there has been much Lashon Harah, Rechilut, and gossip. The Rav is well aware of this, and it is this that he wishes to put and end to, or minimize… he has asked the delegation (of Student Council) to consider the conflict among students, the people who are pro and con, the schism, the war (and I am using his terms) which he considers a terrible thing for the Yeshiva. In order to end this war he has asked as a favor to him personally to consider a break in the pattern. The Rav feels that if there were no Dean’s Reception now, the gap between the warring groups would be closed.
“I therefore wish to announce at this time, that there will be no Dean’s Reception as planned for February 27, 1966. In addition there will be a poll of the student body to learn of their sentiments… on Tuesday evening there will be a Student Council meeting to discuss Dean’s Receptions, this year and in the future.”
After cross-fire argumentation Mr. Berlin called for a 10 minute recess during which he spoke to many advisors. Upon resumption of order, Mr. Berlin announced that he had given almost 48 hours of concentration to this issue and that parliamentary procedure was secondary to the Kavod of the Rav.
Council voted unanimously to cancel the Dean’s Reception as outlined in President Berlin’s statement.
At the Council meeting, too, Jeffrey Silver ‘68 revealed that Mr. Berlin had received a letter from the Dean placing the problem in the hands of Student Council two weeks before January finals. Mr. Silver blamed Mr. Berlin for “deliberately squelching the letter,” leading to the present, last-minute situation. Mr. Berlin answered the charge by pointing out that the letter arrived too close to finals to be made public. In view of the confusion surrounding the cancellation, Council, on the advice of a number of students at the February 15 meeting, sent a delegation to the Rav last Wednesday. The Rav expressed his gratitude to Council for complying with his request and urged a moratorium on discussion of social affairs until after Purim.