To the Editor:

It seems that Leah Zimmerman ’02 (“USAY represents the unions, not the students,” 2/26) has made a mistake common to Yale by judging the people associated with a cause ahead of the cause itself.

Her attack on the USAY-sponsored petition centers exclusively on what she perceives as the politics of United Students at Yale and its members, rather than on the content of the petition itself.

Indeed, the petition never advocated any specific political or economic platform, and did not contain any language endorsing a union or other organized group. Instead, it was a statement of broad and traditional classical liberal principles that should govern the workings of any institution in an open society like the United States.

The petition’s points about diversity should especially appeal to more conservative student leaders like Zimmerman, whose political and ideological views are so underrepresented at Yale.

I am not a Democrat, nor necessarily pro-union, nor a member of USAY. But I signed the petition because it advocated that Yale strive to model itself always on the democratic principles that allow free thought and scholarship to flourish.

These principles are more important than the politics and personalities of whatever group thought to put them in writing.

Daniel Kruger ’04

February 26, 2002