The Vassar Jewish Students’ Union started a letter writing campaign protesting the arrest and “internal exile” in the Soviet Union of dissident Dr. Andrei Sakharov, Soviet nuclear physicist and winner in 1975 of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

The signed letters of protes were sent to United Sates and Soviet leaders, said VJSU President Erica Landsman '81, "because we realized that if the Soviet Union can take actions against Sakharov, a man who is known throughout the world, then theyu can proceed to take any and all unjust poitical actions, whether they be for religious, political or other reasons, against other dissidents.

Sakharov was released and returned to Moscow in December 1986 at the outset of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika policies.