April 18, 1968
An article in The Miscellany News by Assistant Professor of Sociology Martin Oppenheimer called upon the Vassar administration to “publicly state that the college does not condone the use of informers on this campus.” Charging that local law enforcement “has had at least one student here act as an informer on the drug scene” and had “attempted to solicit other informers from the student body,” Oppenheimer declared, “the atmosphere of suspicion and mutual distrust is far more damaging to education and democracy” than drug experimentation.
Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett, agreeing that the issues raised by Oppenheimer’s article were serious ones, said that student meetings were being conducted in the residence halls to discuss the drug situation. College chaplain Frederic Wood declared that tolerance of informers on campus was “subversive to the educational climate.”
In his article, Oppenheimer noted that a recent survey had shown that one-third to one-fifth of the students at Vassar had used marijuana at least once. But, he said, “We have neither the obligation to do the work of the police…nor to protect students from the due course of justice….” The New York Times