Editor’s Note: This article was published on Tuesday, February 6, 1962.
Should loyalty be placed above self-criticism?
As President Sponberg suggested in his recent campus address, we have been considering this question.
However, our considered reaction remains the same as our immediate one – NO.
Being loyal means fulfilling obligations to groups we are a part of. Self-criticism would be making judgments, favorable or unfavorable, concerning these groups.
It seems to us that we can remain loyal to an organization and still keep our rational eye open to objectively judge the organization.
Loyalty imposes an obligation not to make unfair or unsubstantiated judgments, but obligations of loyalty never include being public relation men, trying to present only the favorable aspects of any situation.
Loyalty should not dim our eyes to defects in the groups we are a part of. It should not slow our actions in correcting these defects.
Being loyal should not mean we have to be satisfied with the status quo.
Improvement and progress can be brought about only by honest evaluation and fearless self-criticism.
Granted, self-criticism is not always easy. Several students were recently prevented from re-enrolling at Emporia State College for criticism of some of their school policies.
But where would we bet today if loyalty had always prevented men from making changes they thought necessary?
We may not obtain the results of a Galileo, a Thomas Jefferson, or a Luther but our criticism is important, and if necessary, more important than loyalty.