It was quite a shock to read the column by Jack Anderson and Joseph Spear telling me that Ralph Nader's Public Interest Research Groups are the best thing since the new taste of Coke {"Student Activists Keep Naderism Alive," June 16}. As one who has had firsthand experience in dealing with PIRGs and their often sordid activities, I know that there is much more to be said about PIRGs than they tell us in their story.

Certainly the efforts to protect the environment or help consumers are good things for a student activist group to do. But there is much more to PIRGs than these activities, and this is what groups such as the College Republicans are working against.

Most PIRGs receive their funding through mandatory student activity fees. It is clear, then, how PIRG groups can claim 500,000 student members on 115 campuses (at an average of more than 4,300 students per campus): they simply claim every student as a member, since every student pays these fees.

PIRGs often use this money for lobbying efforts such as unilateral nuclear disarmament or divestment. At the University of Maryland, where I am a student, more than $12,000 every year goes in salary and benefits to a nonstudent director. When the previous director was fired by MaryPIRGs board (for failure to work with the very students who supposedly make up PIRGs), MaryPIRG refused to hire a student intern as a director. While this would have allowed a university student to get involved in the group's activities, and would have saved the organization money, it, in a clear violation of student interests, refused and hired a new director who was not a student and had previously worked with the national PIRG.

It is clear that these groups are not quite as "public-interested" as they often pretend to be. While they certainly have a right to express their own opinions, they do not have a right to do so at the expense of other students and their hard-earned money, and this is what the College Republicans are working against. JAY SCHEINER Executive Director Maryland Federation of College Republicans Rockville