A group of students and faculty from the School of Education is organizing a campus-wide vigil this Sunday, urging Harvard to divest from companies that make nuclear weapons.
The candlelight vigil, planned by the Harvard Educators for Social Responsibility (HESR), will take place in front of the Faculty Club, where some Harvard Corporation members will be staying before a Monday meeting, organizers said. The group will sing lyrics decrying nuclear weapons fitted to the tunes of Christmas carols.
Campus concern over Harvard's nuclear investments--totaling more than $100 million--has intensified recently, and the seven-man governing Corporation is expected to consider the divestiture issue in coming months.
"We want to let the Corporation know that nuclear weapons are a moral issue and it should be decided on moral grounds whether Harvard invests in corporations that make them," Dorothy M. Lewis, a Divinity School administrator and part-time student at the School of Education, said yesterday.
HESR organizer Belle Zen, a first-year doctoral student, added. "I think they [the Corporation members] are waiting for a mes-message from the rest of the University."
The Corporation's chief spokesman on shareholder issues, Cleveland lawyer Hugh Clakins '45, confirmed that he would be in Cambridge Sunday night for a dinner of the Board of Overseers, but he said. "I don't plan to go to any nuclear rally."
The Corporation has postponed taking any action until it receives a report on the controversial topic expected this spring from the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR).
Members of the Ed School group said that they have contacted undergraduates and students at other Harvard graduate schools asking them to attend the rally, slated to begin on the steps of Widener Library at 8 p.m.
They added that they are taking action this month because of the holiday season. "Christmas stands for peace on earth," said student Deborah K. Welsh. "Peace is what the carols are about."
The lyrics to the carols the group intends to sing were penned by 44-year-old Ed School student Richard Lourie, who noted that he has produced two albums of original songs for children.
One of his reworkings of a traditional holiday tune it called. "God Rest Ye, Corporation Men," sung to the tune of "Merry Gentlemen."
God rest ve. Corporation men, but not without dismay--
Remember those investments which could blow us all away--
You're using our tuition to prepare for nuclear war--
So divest now, and help us all survive, help us survive--
So divest now, and help us all survive.
ACSR Chairmas, Walter J. Salmon, Roth Professor of Retailing at the Business School, said yesterday that a subcommittee of the 12-member body is drafting a preliminary report on nuclear investments for the entire committee to consider.
The report, he said, would offer two possible approaches the advisory committee could recommend to the Corporation. One would urge support for shareholder resolutions that ask companies to limit or reconsider their work involving nuclear weapons, while the other would urge abstention or opposition to such largely symbolic proposals.
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