THE BELL LAP: Day of Depression

Monday in Lamont left Bell Lap with a bad taste in its mouth

Laura C. Mckiernan

Students fought for Felipe's on Monday night's chaotic Lamont Party.

Picture the scene: We sit, toiling away at our desks, waiting patiently for the nice little Felipe’s/Finale study break we’d been promised. Suddenly we find our work space stormed harder than Helms Deep in Lord of the Rings. Trying to relieve some tension, Chris S. hits the 5th floor bathroom for a quick deuce/jerk, only to find every single stall occupied. We rush downstairs to find the Uruk-Hai pushing their way through the doors, surrounding tables that don’t even have food on them yet. Pandemonium breaks out. A diminutive librarian mounts the Circulation Desk to ask everyone to back up while the security guard starts running crowd control like he’s at a Live Aid concert.

This was not a soup kitchen for Katrina survivors. And despite what some people heavy in the e-recruiting game might think, this was not Wall Street. No, this was free snack for a bunch of wealthy students, most of whom had eaten full dinners only a few hours earlier. This was Harvard. Amid the chaos, there was just enough time to pause and view the bust of Tommy Lamont, surveying the chaos, ashamed, a single tear trickling down his marble visage.

We walked outside empty-handed and watched people run into the darkness of the Yard clutching five quesadillas and a fistful of chocolate cakes as the Harvard University Police Department arrived to deal with the situation. (1) Of course, this only brought more people swarming to the area because if there’s one thing Harvard students like more than some free shit, it’s a spectacle. Every sick d-bag in the school was there with a comment for the crowd. To add insult to injury, a group of Quad students was even taking the opportunity to protest the limited hours of Hilles library. Could anything be more depressing?

And the saddest part is, this was just the tip of the iceberg, a single moment that distills the utter douchiness of this school. Harvard is a university where the same resources are available to all of us, where we shouldn’t have to scratch and kick and claw to get what we need. Yet somehow, greed is the pervading ethos of this campus.

Case in point: Every year greedy Harvard students line up around the block at Ben and Jerry’s for a free scoop of ice cream. These are the same students whose time is so precious that they can’t veer a few millimeters off course to let you by on the sidewalk. The same students who sip a $4 grande vanilla bullshit concoction while waiting for their treat. Even the lactose-intolerant kids stand in line, get their scoop, and throw it out, just so they can prevent a fellow student from getting a taste of Chunky Monkey.

These are the same guys who decimate Brain Break every single night in the dining hall, raiding the food like they’re hoarding for Armageddon. The same d-bags who are in such a rush to put cream cheese on their bagel that they use the knife from the peanut butter jar, ensuring that no one with nut allergies can eat the cream cheese for the rest of the night.

Finally, these are the same students who didn’t go to the Harvard State Fair, a well-planned event with so much free food that there couldn’t possibly be a line. The same students who probably won’t go to the Harvard-Yale Game, and who have never attended a dollar draft Pub Night in Loker because “that’s lame.” They won’t do any of that, but they will walk from the Quad to Lamont to fight over half a burrito.

It seems that the only kind of thing Harvard students want is something that only comes in limited quantity, for a limited time only. It’s not that they want it so badly. It’s that they know their having it will prevent another Harvard student from getting it. And it is this grubbiness, this “next man” attitude, seen everywhere from the dining hall to the recruiting room, that makes Harvard one of the most miserable campuses in the country.

Who can we look to for guidance in times like this? On his outstanding rookie effort “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot,” DMX growled, “Y’all been eatin’ long enough now stop being greedy / Just keep it real, partner, give to the needy.” So settle down, Harvard. You’re not starving yet.



1. Think about that for a moment: at Harvard University, the police needed to be called to break up a crowd that was fighting over a bunch of free burritos.