Student Relocation Committee Bulletin No. 1 dated May 6, 1942. American Friends Service Committee, Acc. 4791, Box 25-15. UW Libraries Special Collections.
BULLETIN NO. 1
To persons in unrestricted areas wishing to help with the relocation of evacuated students:
WORK TO BE DONE IN THE EAST & MIDWEST
- GENERAL BACKGROUND
- What provision has been made for Japanese-American students to continue with studies?
- Elementary and High School level:
The Federal Government plans to provide both elementary and high school education within the reception centers to which evacuees are being moved. It is hoped that these school facilities will be ready for Autumn, 1942.
- College and University level:
Mr. Milton Eisenhower, the national director of the War Relocation Authority, has announced that permission will later be given for students of college level to study in colleges outside the restricted military areas. The number who will be able to do this depends to a large extent upon the work of those who receive this bulletin and whose opportunity it will be to prepare a friendly community response and to secure local funds for aid to incoming students. Clarence Pickett, Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, has been asked by Mr. Eisenhower to organize a committee to take responsibility for student resettlement. It is not decided what the function of the Student Relocation Committee will be under Mr. Pickett's government-approved organization, but this committee has been invited to share in planning the organization of Mr. Pickett's group.
- Do students wish to continue their studies, or to share the lot of their families by being evacuated with them?
Over 600 questionnaires have now been filled by students being evacuated. 80% of those filling questionnaires indicated that they would be free to continue their education if finances can be arranged. 70% of the total will definitely need financial assistance, 15% definitely will not need help, and 15% are not certain. Practically all express a need and willingness to do any kind of work by which they may earn part of their expenses. The total number of college level students of Japanese ancestry in the evacuated zone is probably about 2,300, of which some 2,200 are American citizens.
- Can students transfer now for continued study in unrestricted areas?
Until about May 11, it was possible under restricted circumstances for students to leave military zones for inland colleges. This is not now possible (May 15) under any circumstances except in cases so extreme as to receive direct permit from General DeWitt himself. It is expected that further voluntary evacuation will be possible when arrangements have been made on a national basis under Mr. Pickett's committee. This committee hopes to arrange for college attendance beginning with the Autumn Semester, 1942.
- OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP
- Be certain that persons wishing to help know what each other is doing in order that work on each campus may be coordinated, not random.
- Secure the necessary information to fill the enclosed questionnaire, which should then be mailed to Student Relocation Committee, Union Street at Allston Way, Berkeley, California. We should like to have these for all colleges, whether they can now receive students or not. Do all possible to justify favorable answers on this questionnaire.
- Become well-informed on the problem created by west coast evacuation and inform others both in the college and in the community. In every respect the most urgent immediate problem is to build proper attitudes in the communities to which students may later come. Speak to your church groups, international relations clubs, etc. Discuss this problem in YM-YW cabinet meetings. If the true facts are known students of Japanese ancestry will be welcomed in the middle-west. Be sure you know the facts and do not talk only from the standpoint of sentiment. The Student Relocation Committee is now preparing releases with the kind of information you will need.
- Try to find homes where Japanese-American students can be housed while attending your college. If some persons are willing to give part or all of board and room free, that will help tremendously. In other cases the student may earn board and room.
- Encourage the allocation of scholarship and fellowship funds to evacuated students. Perhaps you can raise money for this purpose. Send it to the World Student Service Fund. These students are in particular need of financial help for several reasons, including the following:
- Much of their wealth has been lost through sale or [sic] property at scandalously low prices.
- Businesses have been lost almost in toto because of evacuation.
- Families no longer have employment, hence are without income, except for the prospect of work in the reception centers. The Government is prevented by public opinion from paying more than minimum soldier's pay for this work, although soldiers are usually without any dependents and many of the Japanese-Americans have large families.
- Evacuated students must enter colleges in other states than where they live, and hence they must face out-of-state fees in State Colleges and Universities
- Have a reception committee prepared to meet students at the train, to welcome them to the college community, and to become their friends. It is very important that they feel this welcome at first, when they are lonely and unaccustomed to their new home. It is also important, however, to continue friendship after the first days and weeks.
This release was prepared May 6, 1942
by the Student Relocation Committee,
Union Street at Allston Way