Six law students have asked the University to open up to all seniors planning to enroll in the Law School a financial prize that is now awarded only to male students going on to the school.
In a letter to the editor of the Law School's weekly newspaper, four women and two men demanded the abolition or renegotiation of the terms of the Saltonstall Prize. This year's law catalogue states Harvard awards the prize to the male seniors "who shall be considered to be fitted, by intellect, character and physique, to be influenced by Saltonstall's example and in turn to influence others."
The student letter stated the Saltonstall award description is "outrageous and offensive," whether or not the terms of "this discriminatory prize,' are legal.
Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday he is now "getting my files out" on the prize to find out whether the University has already tried and failed to remove the sex restrictions from the award, or whether legal action may still be possible to open up the prize.
Steiner added the status of the prize is a "College, not a Law School matter," and that the description of the award appeared in the Law School catalogue this year "by mistake."
In recent years, Harvard College has taken legal steps to end sex restriction on many fellowships, prizes and other financial awards, often renegotiating the terms of a bequest to the University with the family of the donor, or having the terms of a bequest reinterpreted in court.