YOUR issue of February 13 contained two letters on the subject of students. One, by Fr. Nigel Collingwood, deals, inter alia, with the causes of divisiveness in our universities; the other, by Mrs. Agnes Woodford, refers to the public imago of students.
Both letters contain a high element of sheer nonsense, loose thinking, and factual inaccuracy. To begin with Mrs. Woodford's letter. The general public, contrary to her implication, needs no "true and just picture" of students, the public, unlike Mrs. Woodford, already possesses the requisite information.
Here, in essence, is what the public knows: many students, in and out of academic circles, know how to comply with their duties and behave properly; others, a sizeable minority, act, like animals, setting aside the elements of good manners, hurling abuse at those who don't accept their juvenile concepts, and preaching virtue to everyone but themselves.
Fr. Collingwood's letter contains at least three pieces of fanciful nonsense. Here they are, with a brief comment attached:
1 Tertiary education is delhumanised. What he may mean by this we can only guess. But, by dictionary definition, English universities most certainly are not, and to assert that they are implies considerable lack of perspective. As an undergraduate, I am not, of course, denying that academic institutions could well be improved.
There is alienation and
frustration in British university life. The exact sense of these two loaded words escapes me; I do know, however, that they represent a rather wild manner of describing the problems of university life. From whom, one may ask, are university people ailenated?
2—These problems are 4-7 "largely the product of divisiveness in our society and within the universities themselves." What, one may again ask, does he mean by divisiveness in a university? Perhaps he means that students and professors don't sit at the same coffee-table!
Dermot C. Sheehan Trinity College, Oxford.
LOUIS BLACKMR MORE asks for information (February 20) concerning St. Peregrine. St. Peregrine is a saint of the Servite Order, and in the revised calendar of the Church has feast is kept in the Servite Order on May 3.
There is a CTS pamphlet on St. Peregrine. Pictures and statues of him, etc. may be obtained on application to St. Philip's Priory, Begbroke, Oxford.
Fr. John A. Fletcher, OSM Todmordcn, Lancs.