Biko Fund


To the Editors of The Crimson:

Along with all other seniors, I have recently received a letter signed by the Senior Class Committee, describing the Stephen Biko Memorial Fund as an opportunity, "both to financially assist the University in its academic mission and to show disapproval of the University's investment policy." There are several points seniors should consider before contributing to this chimerical fund.

First, the fund is intended to assist, "South African blacks and coloureds admitted to Harvard-Radcliffe." I would be amazed, and indeed highly impressed, if any South African non-white nationals have been able to overcome the barrier of apartheid to the extent of being admitted to the College, or are likely to do so in the near future. I suspect there may be none. Can anyone disabuse me of this notion? This letter itself certainly does not do so.

Second, the letter states that a minimum of $5000 is required to activate the fund. If this target is not reached by the time the Senior Gift is due, what happens to the money that has already been collected? Again, I have my suspicions, which the letter's lack of specificity does nothing to allay.

Third, how adequate is $5,000 as the basis of a scholarship fund? I can only assume that efforts would be made to increase the fund through investments perhaps in stocks of companies that do business with the South African regime?

I do not know with whom this obscene parody of social concern originated. I am ashamed to think that my own class is producing people who think nothing of employing deceit and insincerity in the name of sound, responsible business practice. I am more encouraged, however, by the incompetence of their efforts. Such is the transparency of this grotesque ploy.

As an alternative, perhaps the Senior Class Committee will be willing to establish a fund to be held in escrow until the University adopts a policy of total divestiture. I am sure that those of us who oppose the University's current investment policy would gladly contribute to such a fund, for the greater its success the greater embarrassment and cost to the University. I can see the headlines now: "Harvard Still Ineligible for $3,000,000 Fund." David Aronson '79