To the editor:

William Sledge’s article “Ward 1 needs consensus-builder” raises an important issue. What are the responsibilities of those in positions of authority within the university? Should they engage in political debates by attacking undergraduates? Ben Healey is an alderman and should expect to defend his record. William Sledge is a New Haven resident and has a right to publicize his opinion. But Dr. Sledge is also a master of a college, a position of trust and responsibility not simply with students in Calhoun College but with all Yale undergraduates. Should he be writing a column where his personal interpretation of a political situation, stemming no doubt from his job as Director of the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, becomes the basis for impugning a student’s motives, record and capacity to think clearly? I, for one, do not think so.

For the record: I have contributed to Ben Healey’s campaign. But, though I, too, am a resident of New Haven, I have never promoted Ben’s candidacy in my class nor in conversations with students. And, were I to mention the campaign, I would never criticize Dan Kruger in the way that William Sledge has criticized Ben Healey.

Cynthia Horan, Political Science lecturer

October 22, 2003