On April 25, 1986, the Georgetown University administration arrested 35 protesters for erecting a shanty on campus in protest of South African apartheid and Georgetown's unwillingness to divest. As one of the student protesters, I was surprised to read an article {op-ed, Nov. 11} by the president of Georgetown, Father Timothy Healy, condemning the South African government's new policy toward its "open" universities.

Father Healy takes issue with South Africa's newest measures, which have the effect of further stifling any opposition within the country's universities to apartheid. Certain "criteria" imposed by the government on the "open" universities will preserve "the undisrupted and undisturbed continuance of teaching and research activities" in the face of any possible disruption (in the form of, for instance, free speech).

According to Father Healy, South Africa is guilty of Orwellian Newspeak precisely because it equates the free expression of "university opposition to apartheid, be it by assembly, speech or publication," with the "disrupti{on} of academic freedom." In Father Healy's opinion, "when it comes to the exchange of ideas, to free speech about any topic of any interest to anybody, universities are right to defend savagely their self-governing status."

What struck me as most ironic about Father Healy's article was precisely his support for freedom of expression and exchange of ideas in light of the incident of April 25.

Following the decision by Georgetown to arrest 35 people on that April day, John DeGioia, dean of student affairs, delineated the "criteria" for "proper" demonstrations on Georgetown's own campus. His letter to the Georgetown community states: "1) The demonstration cannot disrupt the function of the university. Any event which disrupts teaching, research, administration or any other legitimate university function will be stopped. 2) The demonstration cannot threaten the safety and security of this community."

The first of these rules is almost an exact replica of South Africa's "criteria," which Father Healy condemns as an Orwellian nightmare. Mr. DeGioia's letter strongly implies that the cessation of demonstrations is legitimate in order to continue university functions and protect the university environment. Put into action on public property in the United States, this rule's constitutionality would be questioned. SARA DISCEPOLO Arlington