Corps Signs 175 In Recent Drive
More than 175 students--twice last year's number--applied for the Peace Corps during its recent recruiting drive at Harvard.
This flurry of applications brought the University total to almost 300. Last year the total figure was 225, of whom 94 students applied during the recruiting drive.
Gary O. Bergthold, a student in the Education School who directed the recruiting program, said yesterday he thought the drive had been "a great success." His hope before the drive originally had been to get 150 applications.
Sixty-one returned Peace Corps volunteers did the actual recruiting from Feb. 28 to March 10. This was the first time any Peace Corps recruiting drive had been run completely by returned volunteers, and also the first time that the Corps' Placement Test had been waived.
Sixty-five Harvard seniors applied for service beginning this summer, and 25 juniors applied for the advanced training program. Of the 40 female applicants, 25 were Radcliffe undergraduates, the rest were graduate students and wives and fiances of Harvard students.
27 Law Students
Surprisingly. 27 Law School students were among the applicants, a sharp rise from last year's total. Other large contingents came from the Divinity School, the Education School, and GSAS.
Bergthold said he thought the drive's "individual approach"--every applicant had a personal interview with a returned volunteer--was a major factor in the drive's success. "The Peace Corps has often failed to explain just what living and working overseas is like.
"Until an applicant got to training, the Corps was little more than the nameless clerks with whom they corresponded."
Bergthold said he did not feel the draft was a factor in the increase of applications. He noted that applications for the Corps have not increased across the country--just at Harvard and Berkeley--and that the male-female ratio of 60-40 has remained the same.