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SETA works to further animal rights

(Editor's note: The following is the first in a regular series of reports describing student activities.)

By Alice N. Gilchrist

Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), formerly the Animal Rights Forum, is a group of MIT students who support the humane treatment of animals. According to SETA President Lucy M. Tancredi '94, the group's activities currently center around efforts to educate other students about the need for the ethical treatment of animals. SETA has 80 members, 15 to 20 of whom are active.

SETA often has a booth in Lobby 10 where members distribute information about animal welfare issues, including dissection, vegetarianism and the drawbacks of killing animals for their fur. Also, SETA has food sales to inform people about vegetarian food.

This winter SETA will build a shelter for stray cats in the Central Square area, Tancredi said. The shelter will be a small place for the cats to stay warm.

SETA's name change reflects

broader emphasis of group

SETA recently changed its constitution to reflect its new name, and members expect to be approved by the Association of Student Activities soon. Tancredi said the group changed its name to "attract a broader range of people whose interests may include different aspects of animal welfare, including everything from strays and domestic animals to animal rights." Tancredi said SETA wants to encourage students who are not necessarily interested in animal rights to join the group.

Members of SETA generally approve of the name change. Nousheen V. Afshani '94 said the change will hopefully show the "diverse interests" of SETA. Richard D. Hamlin '95, another SETA member, said the name "SETA does not imply animal rights, which may facilitate more people joining the group."

Vegetarian group will

organize next term

Next term, Tancredi is also going to begin a club for vegetarians at MIT. She said the club, which will help vegetarians maintain their eating habits, will cook together, share information on Boston-area restaurants, sponsor a Thursday night dinner during Residence/Orientation Week and make their special needs known to ARA.

Tancredi said that although the vegetarian club will probably have "a lot of SETA members in it, the club will be totally separate" from SETA. She said that students who stopped eating meat for any reason -- health, religious beliefs or environmental concerns -- would be welcome.