Students May Be Disciplined for Behavior Featured in FM
The story profiled the Saturday night activities of seven Harvard first-years and included references to alcohol consumption.
Several students featured in the article said FM reporters assured them that they could not get in trouble for appearing in the story.
But both Chelsea S. Simmons '06 and Victoria L. Sprow '06 said they received e-mails from Assistant Deans of Freshmen James N. Mancall and Leslie Nye, respectively, asking to meet with them this week regarding the FM article.
Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 and Dean of Freshman Elizabeth Studley "Ibby" Nathans declined to comment.
Another first-year featured in the story about Simmons' night said he was also contacted by Nye to set up an appointment, but received a follow-up e-mail over the weekend informing him that a meeting was no longer required.
The student said he wished to remain anonymous to avoid conflict with the administration.
A third first-year featured in the same story said his proctor informed him that the Freshmen Dean's Office was aware of his mention in the article, but that the deans didn't require a meeting.
FM Chair Benjamin D. Mathis-Lilley '03 said while he and the FM staff discussed the possibility that students could face disciplinary action for being featured in the articles, they dismissed the idea.
"We didn't expect this to happen. Everyone seemed to agree that it wasn't an issue," Mathis-Lilley said. "But we tried to be as non-specific as possible about party locations. We weren't looking to get people in trouble, especially when they had done us the favor of letting us write about them."
Mathis-Lilley added that FM prints party pictures in every issue, but that the administration has never responded to these photos or to any other articles in recent memory.
"We didn't think a picture in a newspaper with people [who would be] difficult to identify would become what the school considers sufficient evidence," he said.
John P. Blickstead '06, Frank T. Ferrante '06, James L. M. Fisher '06 and Brian P. Houlihan '06-all students profiled in the story-said this weekend that no deans had contacted them about the article.
Kristopher A. Tillery '06, the seventh student profiled, could not be reached for comment.
Simmons said he is meeting with Mancall on Wednesday and Sprow said his meeting with Nye is today.
-Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at email@example.com.