Consider funds for non-registrantsIn Diana ben-Aaron's April 26 column ["The class gifts seniors should be sponsoring"], she proposed that seniors should donate their "class gift" to a worthy cause and not "...waste our money on shrubbery." Her suggestion to donate money to aid financially needy students is, we think, an excellent idea. We urge, however, that like-minded students consider those needy students who will not be aided by gifts to the alumni fund.
We are referring to students who have been denied federal aid because of the so-called Solomon amendment. The Solomon amendment denies all federal aid to students who will not sign an oath stating they have registered for the draft. Since the fall of 1983, this reprehensible law has linked receipt of educational aid with the unrelated goal of military service.
Similar to those students described by ben-Aaron in her column, there are students who have left MIT both temporarily and permanently because they have made a decision of conscience not to sign the Solomon compliance form.
Among the reasons for not signing the Solomon form are: purposeful nonregistration; belief that the financially needy should not be discriminated against by the Solomon amendment; and belief that the Solomon amendment in requiring universities to become agents of law enforcement constitutes an infringement an academic freedom.
The class of 1984 considered donating money to assist Solomon-affected students. Unfortunately, MIT decided it would accept no donations for such a purpose, and the class chose to use its gift to purchase ice-skates instead.
Concerned students, however, thought that aiding those who lost money because of the Solomon amendment would be a worthy cause; they formed the Committee to Assist Nonregistrants (CAN). CAN established a fund separate from MIT and many students gave to this fund as individuals, contributing over 1/3 of the $3000 raised last spring.
In the interest of continuing the CAN educational assistance fund, we are again sending letters to the Senior class.
We agree with ben-Aaron. Class gifts should be used for purposes more significant than shrubbery. We therefore eoncourage seniors -- and other interested students as well -- to respond to our letters by making a donation to CAN.
Greg O'Conner G->
Scott Saleska '86->