In the first of two articles in The New York Times, reporting on a study involving 72 colleges of the effects of McCarthyism on campus freedom of speech and inquiry, Kalman Seigel described the “subtle, creeping paralysis of freedom of thought and speech…attacking college campuses in many parts of the country, limiting both students and faculty in…the free exploration of knowledge and truth.”  Seigel identified five fears the study found on campuses: social disapproval; a “pink” or communist label; criticism by regents, legislatures and friends; rejection for further study at graduate schools; and investigation by government and private industry for employment and service in the armed forces.  “Such caution,” he wrote, “has made many campuses barren of free give-and-take of ideas….”

Seigel quoted a recent anonymous letter to The Miscellany News, in which “the writer noted that she did not now belong to, nor did she intend to join any political association on the campus.  The decision, she said, involved careful thought on her and her parents’ part.”

“In today’s world,” the student wrote, “of ‘witch hunting,’ ‘subversive actions’ and ‘pink tinges,’ such factors as these must be taken into consideration by every student….  It is particularly important if the student might some day want a position with the Government.”