To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
It has been particularly distressing to me that the CRIMSON and Miss Stock have fallen into the same trap as that which they accuse NSA. The guilt by association principal has apparently carried so far that when a former officer of an organization (NSA) makes a statement as Mr. Elsenberg did, it is taken as that organization's official position. The truth of the matter is that the only official statement made by NSA in regard to the Madison meeting on academic freedom, peace and equality was to call attention to the fact that NSA was not invited and consequently was not going to participate. The headline "The NSA Urges Student Boycott" is fabricated out of the statement of a single individual, 'title used for purposes of identification only.' Individual members of NSA schools are continuing to sponsor the Madison meeting as is shown by the sponsorship of the conference at the University of Chicago by the NSA chairman.
Actually NSA has stood in the front of student organizations battling discrimination and for academic freedom. Because of its constitutional setup, that is, as representatives of the student governments at the various member schools, NSA can initiate no steps for nationwide action on any particular case until asked to do so by the student government at that school. This has been done to make sure that small groups of students could not secure control of the organization that speaks for the students of the U.S.
NSA has consistently supported other groups working in the cause of academic freedom as is shown by the endorsement by local regions of NSA of the American Association of University Students for Academic Freedom. The AAUSAF is already active in this important field, has printed and distributed literature on the various phases of academic freedom and is now striving for nationwide membership. In addition, the local region of NSA in connection with the Harvard Liberal Union has already published three news letters this term on the status of academic freedom in New England and urged students to take effective action.
In answer to NSA's relations with the IUS the following should be noted:
1. NSA was founded as a consequence of the IUS call for students throughout the world to unite and work for peace and freedom.
2. NSA has already extended its support to the projected international Student Unity meeting.
3. NSA in conjunction with the student unions of Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Australia has submitted a list of thirteen proposals to democratise the IUS as preconditions for full participation. NSA was in the midst of negotiations to affiliate with the IUS, though having misgivings about its partisan political activity, when the failure of the IUS to protest the firing upon students and the closing of the universities during the Czech coup and the immediate expulsion of the Yugoslavia student union upon the break with Tito with the Soviet Union caused a halt to negotiations. NSA has constantly stated its willingness to fully participate if the IUS will cease its partisan political activity. Frank L. Parker, 3G Chairman, Academic freedom Committee New, England Region of NSA.