A Book Without the Class

Books

Three Hundred Fifty

by the Harvard Yearbook Staff

Harvard Yearbook Publications; 480

pp.; $32.

THIRTY-TWO BUCKS. To some that's six or seven hours worth of hard work. To others it's a bottle of champagne. And to the graduating class, it's four years of memories titled Harvard Radcliffe Three Hundred Fifty.

Or at least it should be.

A yearbook is a nostalgia producer--you buy it so that in 30 years you can flip through the pages and remember your Harvard years. You can sit your grandchildren on your knees, point to your face in the varsity soccer picture and reminisce about the day you saved by booting in the tie-breaking goal. Or you can grin and sigh as you find a candid shot of your old roommates beaning each other with rotten vegetables in the Adams House Raft Race.

But does this year's volume of memories fulfill its purpose? There are some great senior pictures with detailed lists of each graduate's activities during his or her Harvard years. But countless seniors have been complaining that many of the extracurriculars they checked off on their "activities forms" weren't included in the yearbook.

The lists don't really matter, because the yearbook sections that are dedicated to organizations, sports, publications, etc. provide the records and memories of what seniors did as undergraduates.

Well, not exactly. These sections record the activities of the seniors lucky enough to belong to the organizations which weren't left out by the yearbook editors.

For instance, if divestment was your issue, and you belonged to SASC, you have a group picture and a paragraph which describes your goals and actions. Of course, you may be surprised to read that SASC is "a variety of organizations and several dedicated individuals." So are the friends of the Franklin Park Zoo. But unlike the Friends--and 163 of the 197 real undergraduate organizations--SASC did make it into the yearbook.

Particularly distressing was the omission of some groups that were equivalent in size and purpose to those that were included. SASC and The Salient made it and so did Room 13--but don't look for the Committee on Central America, Perspective or the four other peer couseling groups on campus.

MAYBE YOU'RE thinking that your activity was included if it was athletic. Probably. But, that doesn't mean your personal blood and sweat were honored.

For instance, if you are a senior who struggled for four years to make the first boat of the crew team, you're not in the yearbook. The yearbook editors printed the record and photo of last year's varsity boats, not this year's.

If you played women's rugby, you may feel offended that the single record of your multiple bruises and endless hours of practice is one photo of a player who graduated last year. And no win-loss records at all--not this year's, not last year's.