A recently formed student organization dedicated to aiding war-torn Bosnia has already raised several thousand dollars in two days of door-to-door soliciting in student dorms, organizers said yesterday.
The door-to-door soliciting kicked off Wednesday and wound up last night with good results, said John R. Wagley '95, one of the group's organizers.
"With the exception of a few houses [it] has been going really well," said Wagley, who is a Crimson editor.
The total amount collected will not be counted until this morning, but more than $1700 was collected Wednesday night in Leverett House alone, said Martin Lebwohl '96, another organizer.
Still, many students did not give or gave less than the recommended minimum contribution of $10, according to Josh Buresh-Oppen-heim '97, a student who solicited contribution.
"I would guess the average contribution was $2," Buresh-Oppenheim said.
Another problem the group encountered was that many people were not home.
"Half of the people were out," said Gayle L. Squires '97, a student who solicited contributions in half of Wigglesworth Hall.
The still-unnamed group hopes to raise $50,000 to purchase a truck that "will carry relief supplies into Sarajevo, and bring out 40 people to freedom," according to a flyer the group distributed.
On Monday the Organization door-droppedstatements in all dorm rooms explaining its goaland plans.
Referring to the Holocaust and "Schindler'sList," the statement called on student "to helpstop the suffering and atrocities" in the Bosnianconflict.
The Harvard administration was also supportiveof the group's efforts, though it gave no money tothe cause.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III joinedapproxmately 50 student leaders for the reliefgroup's public meeting on Monday. "I think it wasa very commendable effort," Epps said.
The group has received more concrete supportfrom Harvard Student Agencies, which bought an adin The Crimson for the group.
Some students were skeptical that theirdonations will actually reach those suffering inSarajevo.
"I don't know enough about the company [whichwould distribute the aid]. I'd want to know howmuch goes to administrative costs," Matthew A.Weissman '97 said.
The student organization will donate the moneyit collects to the Joint Distribution Committee(JDC).
The JDC was recommended by activist LeonardFein, who spoke in Emerson Hall last month. It hasa low overhead cost, Lebwohl said.
Other students wanted to know which groups werereceiving the aid, according to Squires.
All money raised will go to non-militarypersonnel, Lebwohl said.
"The people getting this food are not soldiers,they are civilians," he said. "It's a completelyhumanitarian effort.