More of the Same, But Different


If anger and wide-spread student support characterized last year's demonstrations against Harvard's investments in South Africa, frustration and disbelief typified this year's protests.

Once the adversary of students opposed to Harvard's investments in firms doing business in South Africa, the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR), the Corporation's research body, did an about face this past spring and voted to support several progressive, though moderate resolutions.

For the dwindling numbers following Harvard's South Africa investment policies, shock was the dominant reaction when the Corporation repeatedly rejected or abstained on the same resolutions.

Only 150 protesters gathered in front of the Corporation building in April to protest the Corporation's decision to abstain on two resolutions which the ACSR had supported--one that would prohibit IBM from selling computers to the South African government and another that would set up a committee to review Caterpillar Tractor sales to the South African military.

Despite the assertion of Detlev F. Vagts '49, chairman of the ACSR, that the group's more progressive decisions represent a new position demanding greater efforts from corporations to insure that their activities do not bolster the racist regime in South Africa, the Corporation's hard line remains unchanged.

The Corporation recently reiterated its position when it abstained on two more, ACSR-endorsed resolutions--one called on the owner of the firm that dumped toxic wastes in the Love Canal neighborhood, to establish a policy on toxic waste disposal; the other asked the Atlantic Richfield Company not to expand its operations in Chile. see Section 4