Dear UCSC Freshmen,

Welcome to the “Worst School in America.”

This was the title of the cover article in Front Page Magazine about UCSC.

I’m sorry… it’s a little late to get your money back and enroll in Community College. Let’s hope your hardworking parents don’t see the article in the check-out line.

I am a concerned Cowell College Alumnus (’97). I am disappointed to have this written about my alma mater, especially since it alleges that certain faculty members use the classroom as their political soapbox. Call me crazy, but I thought the value of a liberal education was to help people to think for themselves. Our society is in dire need of independent, critical minds to tackle the many problems we are facing. However, I am left with a distinctly different impression after reading the following quote by Bettina Aptheker: “Teaching became a form of political activism for me, replacing the years of dogged meetings and intrepid organizing with the immediacy of a liberatory practice,…”

In the next four years at UCSC, I’m sure that you’ll learn to think critically for yourselves. Just don’t forget to apply those skills to your professors as well as to your text books. It is a skill that will serve you and our society at large well.

*Peter Gillin*