ACSR May Decide on S. Africa Loans
Meets tonight as SISC Protests
The Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) will tonight discuss the Corporation's proposal to litt Harvard's automatic ban on leaving money in banks that make loans to South Africa, while the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee (SASC) pickets the meetings.
Although the committee is not formally scheduled to take any specific action. Student members said yesterday there is a good chance ACSR will come to a vote on the bank policy.
"I would hope that [the committee] would make up [its] mind once and for all said Sanjeev Mehra '82, the undergraduate representative to the ACSR
The ACSR makes non-binding recommendations to the Corporation on ethical issues that may arise in managing the University's stock portfolio.
Although Mehra and other students did not predict the result of a vote they expressed guarded optimism that the advisors committee would decide to ask the Corporation to reaffirm the present blanket ban enacted in 1978 after months of student protest.
So far four members of the committee three students and alumni representative Herbert P. Gleason '50--have committed them selves to maintaining the ban on loans
While several other committee members yesterday would not specifically declare a position on the issue, a number expressed some support for the present policy
"I think it would be a serious mistake if the University changed its policy," said Noel I McGinn, a lecturer on Education and fellow at the Institute for International Development.
And Mark G Horton, a student at the Graduate School of Desing, said," I don't see the committee voting against what already exists."
For the second time this year. SASC which has mobilized much of the student opposition to lifting the ban on loans--will demonstrated outside the Faculty Club during tonight's meeting.
SASC organized a similar rally in Feburary and supplied many of the speakers at last weeks's ACSR open meeting at which 30 students denounced any policy change before 300 cheering onlookers.
Michael T. Anderson `83 a SASC organizer said yesterday the committee expects 50 to 75 people at the picketing, which he said would help preserve "momentum from the open meeting."
Although it is not certain that the ACSR will vote on the bank issue at the meeting tonight, it is important that members be reminded of student concern about lifting the blanket ban, Anderson said.
The Corporation asked the committee in January to review the present South Africa bank policy because it said the blanket ban allowd Harvard no discretion to allow ostensibly "humanitarian" loans to the country.
Opponents of the policy change have said that there is no such thing as a "good" loan to South Africa and that any loan merely serves to strengthen the apartheid policies of the government