AMOR PERFECT UNION: The Core That You Need to Take

Back in May, the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced that it was replacing the long-standing Core Curriculum with a new General Education program, representing a major change in educational philosophy. While few people outside of the FAS and the Undergraduate Council seemed to notice, the switch will have a significant effect on the college experience of future Harvard students when it eventually does come into effect—really.

The passing of the Core should not go unacknowledged, and after taking a summer to recover, I wanted to do my part in commemorating it. While I thought of putting together some kind of video montage, or perhaps holding a memorial service where students could recall their favorite Core memories, in the end I decided to create a sports-themed tribute to the program that once allowed me to take a course named Counting People and call it math.

I compiled a list of Harvard sporting events that, once President Faust’s office finally returns my calls, every student at the College will be required to attend—The Harvard Sports Core Curriculum (Fall Semester Edition):

FOOTBALL vs. BROWN (Sat. 9/22, 7:30 p.m.)

The first requirement is no ordinary home opener. Saturday’s matchup will be the first ever night football game at Harvard Stadium. Be a part of Crimson history and watch the squad try to right the ship after its stunning Week 1 defeat at the hands of Holy Cross. Then, head back down JFK Street and join the hordes of Harvard fans in the celebration of victory or, at the very least, the drowning of sorrows.

MEN’S SOCCER vs. BROWN (Sat. 10/13, noon)

Nationally ranked Ivy League teams come few and far between, so it would be wise to take this opportunity to go root for the No. 11 Crimson as it faces the No. 21 Bears. Harvard boasts several exciting players—including the now ‘fro-less but always dangerous Andre Akpan—that will keep you entertained.

HEAD OF THE CHARLES REGATTA (Sat. 10/20 – Sun. 10/21)

If you’re a crew fan, this is the Super Bowl, Woodstock, and Cannes all rolled into one. If you’re not a crew fan, you will be after the Head of the Charles. It’s a chance to see the best men’s and women’s rowers from around the world compete, enjoy good food and music, and get tons of free stuff. What more could you want?

MEN’S HOCKEY vs. CORNELL (Fri. 11/16, 7 p.m.)

Everybody knows about the football rivalry between Harvard and that school in Connecticut, but when it comes to hockey, nothing beats the bad blood between the Crimson and the Big Red. Cornell tends to bring a pretty sizeable (and obnoxious) crowd with them, so this is an especially important requirement to fulfill.

FOOTBALL at YALE (Sat. 11/17, 12:30 p.m.)

This is the hardest, but most rewarding requirement of the Sports Core. It’s time to toughen up and shake off the hangover from the Cornell hockey game and get on a bus to New Haven. The state of Harvard football has declined since the Crimson won its only Rose Bowl in 1920, but the aura surrounding The Game has not. It’s the longest-running rivalry in American sports, a rare opportunity to see Harvard mentioned on ESPN, and one of the few times everyone at this school agrees on something—Yale sucks.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY vs. ST. LAWRENCE (Sat. 11/24 4 p.m.)

St. Lawrence is one of the toughest of the women’s hockey team’s conference foes, and a perennial thorn in Harvard’s side. This game is a shot at revenge for the Crimson after the Saints bounced the squad out of the ECAC playoffs last season, and a test of how Harvard will fare without the leadership of former co-captain Julie Chu ’07.

MEN’S BASKETBALL vs. MICHIGAN (Sat. 12/01, 5:30 p.m.)

While we will all fondly remember the glory days of the Frank Sullivan Era (178-245 in 16 seasons), we can’t help but get excited about the buzz surrounding men’s hoops this season thanks to the arrival of new coach Tommy Amaker.

While Amaker’s main responsibility is to get the Crimson its first Ivy League title, the possibility of him picking up a win against the team that canned him last year makes this the must-watch game of the season.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL vs. DARTMOUTH (Sat. 01/05, 6:00 p.m.)

Upset that all of your friends are still on Winter Break while you’re back at school studying for finals due to Harvard’s archaic, nonsensical, soon-to-be-changed-but-not-soon-enough schedule? Go cheer up at Lavietes Pavilion, where you can complete the Sports Core by watching the defending Ivy League champs begin their repeat bid against fellow league powerhouse Dartmouth.

—Staff writer Loren Amor can be reached at