Yearbook Omissions Concern Minorities
The Association of Black Harvard Women, Black Men’s Forum, Black Students Association (BSA), Caribbean Club, Expressions, Fuerza Latina, Haitian Alliance, Harvard African Student Association (HASA), Kuumba, Latinas Unidas, Raza and the Student Activities Committee of the Harvard Foundation are among the student groups without a page in the yearbook.
Though Harvard Yearbook Publications (HYP) is a not-for-profit organization and receives no funding from the University, members of these organizations said they will deliver a letter to Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 tomorrow requesting that a supplement to the yearbook be published.
“It is abominable that entire cultural communities at Harvard were not included,” said Macani Toungara ’02, former secretary of HASA and a member of several of these organizations. “The absence of these cultural organizations shows that this yearbook is not a representative cross-section of the diverse Harvard community.”
Generally, in order to be included in the yearbook, student groups are first contacted by the yearbook editors and then must notify them of their desire to be included in the publication.
If they either submit a photograph or arrange for one to be taken, they are included in the yearbook “on a first-come, first-served basis,” according to an e-mail sent by the HYP account.
According to the e-mail, the photograph the yearbook staff had taken of the BSA board was of such poor quality it could not be published. They said the staff was not able to arrange for another photograph during last semester’s exam period.
Because they had not received any candid photographs, according to the e-mail, the entire BSA page was cut.
HYP did not comment on why the other groups were not included.
Brandon A. Gayle ’03, former president of the BSA, said he was “shocked” to find that his group was not pictured in the yearbook.
“It seems unacceptable,” Gayle said, “especially with the lack of the Latino groups too. We’re an important part of the cultural community here.”
Former HYP president Kyna G. Fong ’02 said she does not believe that the omission of these groups was anything more than a “strange coincidence.”
“It was probably a procedural thing,” Fong said. “I don’t think it was an intentional decision.”
Along with the letter the groups are sending to Lewis, students are considering other options to remedy the situation.
“We may do a petition, but the logistics haven’t been planned,” Toungara said. “But so far, the letter has been our top priority.”
—Staff writer Katherine M. Dimengo can be reached at email@example.com.