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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: A welcoming campus: Truth or exaggeration

Published: December 9, 2005
Section: Opinions

To the Editor:
I just wanted to note that as a long-time Brandeis faculty member, and a former Brandeis student, I found Kevin Montgomerys article, A Memoir of a Goy at Brandeis, very disturbing. I am disturbed not because I believe he is exaggerating or misrepresenting the situation of various minorities at Brandeis, but because he is telling the truth, and outlining a situation that I have seen all too often, concerning how various groups have been treated on campus. This is true of non-Jewish students, of students from the Middle-East (outside of Jewish students from Israel), and of ethnic minorities. All too often students who were minorities before they came to Brandeis are so relieved at being in the majority that rather than having empathy for other minorities, they simply ignore or mistreat others.

The very students who show interest in minority cultures by studying Global Studies and other interdisciplinary courses do not treat properly the non-Jewish students in their own back yard. Certainly, this is not the case of all students, but the attitudes that Kevin outlines are much too prevalent, and sometimes even emerge in the classroom. I very much hope that each student and faculty member will read his article carefully, and will engage in serious soul-searching, will do his or her best to truly make this campus a welcoming campus, where all are welcome, regardless of religion, ethnicity, skin-color, sexual preference, and other beliefs.

Marc Brettler '78, PhD '86 Chair of NEJS