Witholding Contributions: Not Ingratitude


To the Editors of The Crimson:

We write you in order to explain why we are not pledging to make any contributions to the Harvard-Radcliffe Fund, lest you attribute this fact to ingratitude or niggardliness.

First, we think that the University's present policy towards firms doing business in South Africa is too circumscribed, passive, and hence ineffective in undermining what we consider to be a blatantly immoral regime. Second, we feel not only that this refusal to take a more active stand is despicable, but also that it represents tacit support of the present policies of these firms, if not of apartheid. There is little need to present the innumerable familiar yet still cogent arguments against the University's present policies, since this has been done quite thoroughly and articurately elsewhere, especially by several faculty members

Since financial considerations play a large role in President Bok's ruminations on investment policies, we may ultimately be able to begin to affect these policies through 'economic sanctions.' The 'Stephen Biko Memorial Fund is hardly a reasonable option for us: the University can easily transfer funds it would have used for these students' scholarships to other areas, and educating a few carefully selected blacks would probably provide their brothers little relief from the economic and moral degradations of apartheid. This program might be useful if few or no South African blacks now attend Harvard and if there would be more with greater scholarship aid available. But if this is the case then either Harvard now discriminates against them or there are other constraints (for example, lack of adequate background, government interference, or lack of interest) that the Biko Fund would not remedy.

We shall continue, then, to refuse to offer Harvard any contributions until we are satisfied that its leaders have adopted a less unjust investment policy, a decision we find necessary under the present regrettable circumstances. Sincerely,   James M. Jasper '79   Steven E. Kelley '79   David Alwin '79-3   Robert Weler '79   Thomas M. O'Reilly '79   Elias Diuopoulos '79   Gregory P. Lippolis '79   Joseph A.D' Agostino '79   Jack M. Hazizian '79   Christopher A. Shaw '79