African Students Group Launches a Book Drive
To alleviate the dearth of textbooks in all South African universities, the African American Students' Union (AASU) today will launch a book drive expected to last through December 6.
AASU members plan to collect textbooks' dropped in bins near the first- and second-year mailboxes in Aldrich Hall at the Harvard Business School. Although the collection bins are at the Business School, book drive leaders said they hope both graduate and undergraduate students will participate in the project.
"I hope everyone will feel the responsibility to share the vehicle to better life which is education," said Deborah A. Evans, a business school student and AASU member who organized the Harvard drive.
Evans said that there is an excess of books in America "collecting dust on shelves" while South African universities such as the University of Zululand, the University of The North and Fort Hare University suffer from a scarcity of even the most basic textbooks.
The AASU, with the help of Robison Professor of Business Administration James I. Cash, arranged for the books to be sent to South African universities, according to AASU President Charles M. Henderson, Jr.
Henderson said that it is unlikely the South African Government would interfere with the shipment of books because Cash is working through the South African Harvard Business Club, and not the universities themselves.
In a statement made to the Harbus, the Business School newspaper, Cash said that this effort is consistent with the Business School's tradition of supporting academic programs worldwide. "It will provide students and staff with both tangible and direct means of supporting constructive change in South Africa," he said.
"If our education is to mean anything, it should mean that we have an appreciation of the fact that everyone needs to be educated," Henderson said. "Therefore, when presented with an opportunity to help a group of people whose thirst for education is great, but whose government essentially denies them this opportunity, we should do whatever we can to quench that thirst."
Other organizations involved in the drive are the Ed Reps, the Graduate Affairs Committee, lbero Americano, the International Development Club and the Women Students' Association.