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Cambridge Students Join MIT at March

By Eric Richard

Staff Reporter

Approximately 150 high school students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School marched in front of the Student Center yesterday in response to last week's murder of Yngve K. Raustein '94.

Two of the three suspects in the incident are enrolled at the school.

The students walked arm in arm from CRLS to 77 Massachusetts Ave. When they arrived at 3:45 p.m., they met a group of MIT students, organized by Baker House residents Kelly M. Sullivan '93 and Patricia L. Birgeneau '93. The groups moved together to the steps of the Student Center, where eight CRLS students spoke.

Samantha Spitzer, a CRLS junior and organizer of the event, opened the rally.

"Our cause is not to place judgment on any individual acts or persons, but instead to address the issue of violence and its effects on our communities," Spitzer said.

"People in this society have become completely desensitized to crime," said Jill Oliver, a CRLS senior. "We must fight back and not accept the idea that it was just one life, because one life alone is too precious to lose."

"No longer am I going to allow myself to justify any death," said junior Rosalie Barnes. "Walking at night is no reason to be assaulted. Being alone is no reason. Being black, white, Hispanic, or Asian is no reason. And being a woman or gay is no reason."

The speakers warned against allowing Raustein's death to slip into the past.

"I would find it disturbing to ignore the fact that a young life ended in that spot or to continue the daily routine on Memorial Drive without some form of remembrance of this incident," said sophomore Sin Heder.

Melissa Scott ended the speeches on a note of hope, expressing the hopes of the students of CRLS.

"We are all here today to mourn the death of Yngve Raustein and hopefully to bridge the gap between Cambridge Rindge and Latin, MIT, and the Cambridge population," Scott said. "We hope that this peace march is the beginning of a long-lasting Cambridge community cooperation to fight against violence in our schools, our neighborhoods, and in our homes."

Norwegian calls for healing

After the students spoke, they presented a statement of support from the students, faculty, and parents of CRLS to Terje Korsnes, a Norwegian consul, who said he would deliver it to Raustein's parents in Os, Norway.

"I hope that now the healing can begin," Korsnes said. "I also want to let you know that Yngve's parents are comforted by your expressions of compassion."

"We think it is important for everyone to see that we are on the same wavelength. We are here to support them in their gesture," said Sullivan, an MIT organizer of the event. "We want to show the family and friends of Yngve that the MIT community cares about its members."

"I was very impressed with the rally," Birgeneau added. "I think it did a lot for community relations."

Other students agree

CRLS students who attended the rally expressed sentiments similar to those of the speakers.

News that her classmates were accused of Raustein's murder "made me really sick," said sophomore Molly Warsh. "It's just the complete disregard for life that bothers me."

"I read it in the paper Saturday morning, and saw it on TV Saturday night," said Eleanor Pries, a CRLS sophomore. "I was upset that people from our school could do that," Pries continued, adding that she worried about the future reputation of students from her school.

"You hear of murder so many other places, but you trust Rindge and Latin," said Mari Bicknell, also a sophomore.

None of the students interviewed for this story knew any of the alleged assailants personally, although they said they recognized the suspects' faces on television.

Josh Hartmann contributed to the reporting of this story.