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Seniors Give More to E4D, Less to Class Gift

By Philip M. Rubin

With the costs of tuition topping $20,000 a year, seniors say they have given Harvard enough.

So when it came time to raise money for the annual class gift, the Class of 1990 could only pull together about about half of what last year's seniors gave the University.

The Class of 1990 has raised about $19,000, says Senior Gift Co-chair Martina B. Albright '90, down from last year's gift of more than $35,000.

"Some people have philosophical and moral problems about paying $80,000 and then giving more," Albright says.

Unexpected E4D Success

At the same time, the Endowment for Divestiture (E4D)--a fund which will go to the University if it sells all stocks in companies that do business in South Africa--did better than its organizers expected. Students involved with E4D say that seniors have pledged $2000 to the $26,000 fund, which will go to local charities if Harvard does not divest by 2003.

But while there was an increase in contributions to E4D from last year to this year, organizers say that E4D has seen a decline in support over the last several years. They say that seniors are increasingly reluctant to give money to Harvard and that the divestment movement has lost some of its steam.

Many seniors are only donating one dollar because they want to protest divestment without giving any money to Harvard, said Jonathan D. Springer '90, an E4D organizer.

Adding to their problems, E4D organizers say, is the lack of institutional continuity and leadership for the fund. They say E4D's poor showing last year was the result of that poor organization.

Even though the Undergraduate Council has pledged its support, students involved with E4D say that they still bear the burden of organizing the fundraising efforts.

"The leadership is not really there," says E4D coordinator Lucy H. Koh '90, referring to the council. "It just depends each year on the people in the class."

But students say that E4D has remained more of a symbolic protest than a serious rival to the class gift and that they hope that support for E4D will grow in the future.

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