As parents converged on the Harvard campus for Junior Parents' Weekend last Saturday and Sunday, they were greeted by a snowstorm and an unscheduled address from the Living Wage Campaign.
After Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis'68 delivered a welcoming speech on Friday, the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) took over the stage, calling for a $10 minimum wage for all Harvard workers.
PSLM leader Daniel M. Hennefeld '99 said he felt it was important for parents to know the situation of Harvard workers.
"[Parents] are the ones that are paying the bills. It is important for them to know that not enough of their money is going to provide Harvard workers a decent wage," Hennefeld explained.
In addition to PSLM's address, parents had the chance to attend events ranging from a juggling display to a panel that discussed the value of writing a thesis to a sold-out performance by the Kuumba Brothers and Glee Club Lite.
According to co-coordinator Deirdre K. Owens '00 and co-chair Stephen G. Henry '00, the event went well.
"The weekend wasn't too structured so parents were free to explore," Owens said.
In addition, Henry said he felt the PSLM address had no ill effect on the weekend.
"Some parents expect that kind of thing from Harvard students and some even found it amusing," Henry said.
Dean Lewis declined to comment on the interruption.
William and Daphne Gee of Maryland, parents of Jasmine Y. Gee '00, said they felt the weekend went extremely well.
"I think it was very informative and it's great that Harvard gets the parents involved in the academic life of the students,"
His wife praised Harvard's hospitality.
"I think the reception and the luncheon werenice and I was happy that so may parents showed upfor the weekend," Daphne Gee said.
Jasmine, however, said she felt the Universityput on a facade for parents.
"I think it's just funny how Harvard goes outof its way to convince the parents that theUniversity is the best university in the worldwith the best students and best Faculty," saidJasmine, referring to the weekend filled withFaculty addresses and luncheons with flowers andspecial menus.
"When the parents leave we go back to the samefood, there are no tablecloths or flowers, and allthe Faculty and deans disappear. I just think it'sfunny," she said.
Undergraduate Council president Noah Z. Seton'00 said he felt the weekend was successful,explaining that he felt Harvard's hospitality wasappropriate.
"I thought it was fun. It was good to see myparents. I think everyone knows that the schoolputs on its best face for parent's weekend, butit's obviously the right thing to do. You have toput on your best face," said Seton.
When asked about the interruption by the LivingWage Campaign, Seton responded, "I think it was asmart time to rally in front of parents, but Idon't think that it will result in anything otherthan fracturing the group's relationship with theadministration.
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