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Rod Serling at Moorpark College in 1968

Rod Serling at Moorpark College in 1968

Quest Editor Speaks on Serling Matter
a letter to the editor
from Jeanne Marshall

November 6, 1968

Dear Editor,

It is not the purpose of this letter to discuss the merits or demerits of the loyalty oath. For one either believes in it, or one does not...according to one’s principles. However, there are several points I would like to clear regarding Mr. Rod Serling’s proposed visit to Moorpark College on December 3.

As a member of the Conejo Valley Peace Committee, I wrote Mr. Serling nearly a year ago, asking if he would be available to come to the Conejo Valley as a very special guest speaker for the CVPC. Since he was going to be busy teaching and traveling out of the country for the summer, he most graciously agreed to come in the fall... and would accept no remuneration for his efforts.

Feeling that the students of Moorpark would enjoy the opportunity of hearing one of the world’s most renowned authors speak, I arranged, with the help of Dr. Howard Siegel, to have his appearance held al Moorpark College. Since Moorpark requires that all guest speakers be sponsored, Community Services was asked to sponsor Mr. Serling’s two appearances... one at 3 p.m. for the students and another at 8 p.m. for the community. Which, incidentally, will consume nearly 11 hours from the day of a man in demand all over the world, and at fees in the four-figure bracket for one speech!

From the beginning, Rod wanted to do this for nothing. However, Dr. Siegel and I, feeling he should receive SOMETHING for his services, requested the Community Services Committee to cough up $150 for his two speeches.

Since this distasteful law is still on the books, and Moorpark is certain to be faced with more speakers with a conscience whom they may wish to bring on campus, it is imperative that another system be found to present guest speakers.

Sad, isn’t it, that a law exists, which men of conscience and principles... as well as an idealistic school... must find ways to circumvent. And believe me, this is what is being done. For Mr. Serling has appeared on state campuses all over California, and has never once in 20 years barn asked to reaffirm his loyalty. And just for the record. Rod Sending, along with a few other socially conscious writers of our day, has done more with his pen to try to correct some of the ills besetting our country, than all the flag-waving patriots put together.

But the saddest part of all, is that a man of Rod Serling’s reputation and integrity should be involved in this type of controversy at all. Particularly when he wanted to speak for nothing... on behalf of Peace.

The topic of his speech, by the way, is "The Generation Gap."

Jeanne Marshall