More than 35 people turned out yesterday for a Gulf War draft counseling session, at the new "peace center" that has set up shop in the Science Center's Greenhouse Cafe.
The center has been created by a new campus group, the Peace Alternatives Exchange (PAX), which is working to help advise military reservists oppossed to war and help others attain conscientious objector status.
"People don't know about this information because they haven't been forced to think about these issues. Some are reassured and some are learning that there are options they don't know about," said Carrie C. Adler '91, a member of the group.
"It's really important that people realize that just because people are conscientious objectors, they are not unpatriotic or against the troops," Adler said.
The group is composed of students and chaplains from Harvard, Brandeis University and Boston University. They are joined by some Quakers from the Beacon Hill Friends Meeting House.
Although PAX has yet to recieve official University status, it is currently operating under the auspices of Students Against War in the Middle East (SAWME).
Despite limited postering, counselors said many students approached them yesterday with both general and specific questions about the possibility of a draft. For the future, organizers say, they plan to organize daily operation hours.
The center has attracted a broad range of people who have differing views on the war, said James C. Sellman, a graduate student in history. Visitors included men worry about their own draft status, teachers with concerns about students and women who voiced worry about their friends and relatives, said another counselor, Carl T. Bergstrom '93.
"The most scared people are mothers, not the people who are actually going," said Carl T. Bergstrom '93. "Many people are looking for peaceful options and that's what we're here for."