Harvard Police Investigate Possibility Of Mail Fraud in 'Survival Kit' Offer

University police are currently investigating what they term a "possible mail fraud" being conducted by a group that calls itself the Student Rescue Committee.

In a flyer mailed earlier this month to the parents of Harvard and Radcliffe undergraduates, the committee offers an exam period "survival kit" featuring "food for thought" for the student trying to cope with finals.

The letter is signed by Mark Draymore and Randy Swaggerty, identified as chairman and secretary of the committee, respectively, and offers the package of assorted foods for $7.48. Sergeant Richard Smith, of the Criminal Investigation Unit, said yesterday that neither 'Draymore nor Swaggerty are Harvard students.

Same Old Line

Last spring, a number of students whose parents had ordered the "survival kit" told police they had never received the package. Smith said yesterday that because the police were notified so late in the school year, they did not have time to do much investigating before the students left for the summer.


Called The Cops

But Smith said that this year a student whose mother had telephoned him to ask whether he wanted the "survival kit" remembered last year's incidents and called the police.

Smith and Sergeant Edward Greene said yesterday they were checking with postal authorities to determine the validity of the offer.

Bird Food

Among the contents of the package are "imported Danish cheese, nutritious sunflower seeds, memory food--peanuts, and free membership in a group called SMART."

The offer also includes a "Special knowledge hammer" which is billed as "a tremendous novelty." "With only a few taps, one can become an Einstein or a Charlie Brown," according to the offer. The hammer is available for one dollar with a "survival kit," or two dollars when purchased separately.

The advertisement also states that "satisfaction is unconditionally guaranteed," and the committee offers to send the kit to students at other schools for an additional charge of $1.50 to "cover parcel post and special handling" costs.