Mathilde M. N. Chaudron, an MIT student who is cross-registered to take Arabic at Harvard, was stopped at Johnston Gate before her 9 a.m. class on Thursday.
Johnston Gate was one of three entrances open for morning classes.
“At the gate, they didn’t say anything,” she said. “They [just] said, ‘I’m sorry, but it’s only Harvard students today."
Eventually, a security guard told her that if she knew a Harvard student, she could get in. Chaudron called Andrew H. Bellisari, a Ph.D. candidate in history, who walked over to Johnston gate to vouch for her.
But when Bellisari tried to wave his ID and guide her through, an un-uniformed man guided them to the side.
“He actually didn’t introduce himself to us, so I don’t really know who he was,” Bellisari said. “He wanted to know where we were trying to get to. He didn’t ask to see her ID, he was listening to me as the Harvard student.”
The man, HUPD Sergeant Denis Downing, eventually let Chaudron pass.
“He was like, ‘Thank you, I hope you understand.’ And we just walked away,” said Bellisari. “It’s a good thing she was white and well-dressed and wearing glasses.”
After the incident,, Chaudron was still confused about the purpose of Occupy Harvard.
“I don’t know about Harvard, but at MIT, [even] if you don’t have money, you can get in,” she said.
Like Chaudron, extension school student Robert M. R. Cunningham did not expect the roadblocks he found on his way to the yard Thursday morning.
“Have they visited Mankiw yet? Because I want to see what his face looks like when he sees this,” he said.
“I didn’t get any e-mails about this, [even though] I’m on the Activist list and the Dems list,” he explained. “I had no idea this was happening until I read it in the Crimson this morning.”