STUDENTS at Yale University have devised an interesting...

Salmagundi

January 14, 1994

STUDENTS at Yale University have devised an interesting way to relieve stress during that most dreaded time of college life, final exams. Dressed in little more than their sneakers, a few undergraduate males ran through the Yale library last month shouting "Merry Christmas!" and pelting students buried deep in thought with candy.

Streaking on college campuses is really nothing unusual. The University of Virginia and Princeton (home of the infamous Nude Olympics) have long traditions of such naked jaunts.

Perhaps one Yale librarian has either become so accustomed to TTC such sights that she no longer notices whether the students are clothed, or else endless hours of poring over books have severely damaged her eyesight. In any case, she had a curiously calm reaction to the merry streakers.

She grabbed one sophomore male by the arm. Clad only in tennis shoes, a cap and a flannel shirt tied around his waist, he squirmed in her grip, anticipating a stern reaction while she peered at him with contempt.

"Young man," she said, "you know that food is not allowed in the library! Now pick up that candy!"

...* * *

OLDER Americans are losing their purchasing power at a faster rate than other people, according to a recent Census Bureau report.

Real income of older Americans fell at twice the rate of those under age 65, by 1.9 percent compared to less than 1 percent for younger people.

Households headed by a person age 75 and older experienced the sharpest drop, of 5.1 percent to a median income adjusted for inflation of $13,622. The decline occurred despite the fact that Social Security benefits are indexed for inflation.

Economists peg the income decline of older people to the fall in interest rates. Investment returns account for a significant portion of total income of retired persons.

Higher taxes on Social Security income may add to the decline. The new tax law raises to 85 percent from 50 percent the portion of Social Security benefits that can be taxed, depending on total household income levels.

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