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Funding for Drug Users’ Education

I am writing to request that you publicly pledge that MIT will reimburse students who lose their federal financial aid because of a conviction for drug possession. As I’m sure you know, George W. Bush has decided to ruthlessly enforce the provision of the Higher Education Act which mandates withholding federal grants and loans from students convicted of drug possession -- yes, mere possession -- until they complete a rehabilitation program. The obvious problem with this policy is that it targets poor and working-class students, because private rehabilitation programs are prohibitively expensive, and public programs have long waiting lists, which can cause serious impediments to the education of poor and working-class students. It’s a petty, punitive policy that causes far more harm than good.

Please follow in the courageous footsteps of Yale University, Swarthmore College, Hampshire College, and Western Washington University and send a clear message about MIT’s commitment to the education of all students, regardless of income.

Susan Buchman ’01
The Tech received a copy of this letter, which was addressed to President Charles M. Vest.