Letters to the editor

26 September 2001 |

Letters policy
The Berkeleyan welcomes letters to the editor from current and retired faculty and staff, and from students and others on a case-by-case basis. Letters are limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Letters should address issues and ideas of general interest to the campus and must avoid personal criticism.

Submit a letter or opinion column via e-mail to or by mail to Letters — Berkeleyan, Office of Public Affairs, 2120 Oxford St, MC 4204, Berkeley, CA 94720-4204.

Faculty and staff are also encouraged to submit in-depth guest opinion columns, not to exceed 700 words, on issues of broad interest. Columns may be edited. Those interested in writing a guest opinion column should contact Berkeleyan Editor Jeff Holeman at or 643-8012.

Because of limited space, the Berkeleyan may not be able to print all letters or opinion columns submitted and may have to limit the number of letters on one subject or from one contributor. Typed or hand-written submissions must be signed. E-mailed letters should include a contact phone number for the author, so the letter’s authenticity can be verified. The Berkeleyan does not publish anonymous letters.

A call for tolerance, restraint and free speech
This is a time of heightened sensitivity and emotion. Throughout the past week, I and others on campus have spoken out strongly and at length about the need for tolerance and restraint among individuals of differing opinions and backgrounds. We can anticipate strong debate and disagreement in this country in the days to come.

Free speech and protection of the First Amendment are among the principles that form the bedrock of our community and our nation. We can expect that people with divergent opinions may speak and publish viewpoints that others will find offensive.

But throughout this debate we must respect the rights of all to freely speak and publish their points of view.
— Chancellor Robert Berdahl


Heartfelt thanks
Thank you Chancellor Berdahl, Marie Felde and Anita Madrid for your words of solace and for your expressions of caring and thoughtful reflection. Many of us that are no longer at UC Berkeley still look to that wonderful place to reflect our hope for the future and express our concerns for the present. Your words meant a lot to me in this time of grief for our fellow Americans and for our country. Everything is different now, but it is good to know that we are all in this together.
— Sandy Haire
former assistant vice chancellor for human resources


Prayers from Wales
I would like to send my deepest condolences to everyone in your university who has been effected by Sept. 11’s events.

I myself am a student and can’t imagine the pain and shock in your university at this time. I am also Webmaster for my local parish in North Wales, UK, and have included a prayer on the site that was sent to our church and free for everyone to use (I’m not sure of the origin of the prayer). It can be found at

Also I hope you don’t mind if I use a quote from one of your students on the front page of our Web site. The quote is: “Forget about hate and retaliation. For at least a day, give time to think of those who can’t go on as if today is just another day.”

The victims and families have been in our thoughts since it happened on Tuesday.
— Jonathan Morris
Wales, United Kingdom


An alternative way
I am hurt by the suffering of so many people in the Sept. 11th tragedy and extremely alarmed by the escalation of violence likely to develop, given the determination to retaliate expressed by the U.S. government, NATO allies and the American people. If this happens, the terrorist agents are determined to keep the confrontation going.

I believe that a better alternative attitude is possible. This involves immediate diplomatic contact between the NATO allies and the terrorist groups and supporting political group(s) involved. Via negotiation, the world will change toward a more just distribution of well-being of all countries. Via war, which should always be a last resort, it will generate more pain for countless people, everywhere in the world.

The Berkeley campus houses a brilliant and diverse group of intellectuals, who are in contact with influential groups all around the world. They belong to an institution with a brave history of independent thought. Why should not Berkeley influence the world again at this time?

Last week many members of this campus expressed themselves in favor of peace, against scapegoating of any group of people, and in defense of all civil liberties. This is a first, important step toward describing the root(s) of the problems that triggered the horrible tragedy in New York and Washington. From such a description, a proposal for creative and viable solutions will naturally arise.

This campus is well prepared to analyze, describe and make public, with a very clear and respectable voice, the historical, social and economic reasons at the root of the tragedy and the possible peaceful solutions. Can we have a campuswide discussion on the best way to resolve the present conflict?
— Javier Fernández-Velasco
Plant and Microbial Biology postdoc researcher


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