Crimson Clash

International Relations Week, Hinduism Awareness Week , Islam Awareness Week, Africa Week --Harvard has been inundated with events in the past few days. More than usual, as if that were possible.

In the flurry of emails and in the face of endless posters, it's probably been easy for Harvard students to overlook the reliable happenings at the IOP Forum. But this Monday it played host to a clash between a Harvard law student and U.S. Rep. Barney Frank '61 that was so volatile it made national news. All the evidently newsworthy details, after the jump.

Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, focused on the financial crisis. After listening to his speech, Joel Pollak, a student at the law school, told Frank that the crisis "happened on your watch" and asked if Frank took "any responsibility" for the slide. Frank appeared to lose his cool and grew defensive, saying that Pollak "made an accusation that is wholly inaccurate." Their conversation escalated, with Frank calling Pollak's words a "right-wing attack on liberals", and Pollak retorting that Frank's "entire speech blam[ed] conservatives".

When FlyBy talked to Pollak today, he said he was surprised about how much attention the incident has received. He said he hasn't checked his email in the last couple of days due to Passover, but he's aware that this episode has suddenly placed him in the spotlight.

"I have hundreds of new Facebook friends, let's put it that way," he laughed.

Asking questions at the IOP Forum can lead to national fame? Who knew?