Bending the Arc
Before Yardfest, we had Springfest. From 1994 until 2006—when Yardfest got its name and came under the purview of the College Events Board—the Undergraduate Council planned an annual event called Springfest. The event featured a number of festivities missing today—carnival games, dunk tanks, sumo wrestling, jousting, and free beer.
Harvard students love the islands. The islands, of course, are those little specks in the wide, warm, blue ocean—the amorphous, multiethnic set of nations we call the Caribbean. Harvard students love galavanting around the islands, lying in warm sand, and dipping their toes in turquoise blue water.
I have just spoken to a mental health counselor for the first time. I have not submitted assignments. I have missed deadlines. I do not have summer plans. I am a third-year student.
Padilla is the son of two Honduran immigrants and was the only conservative among approximately fifty “Other Hispanics,” the category the College used at the time to refer to Latinos who were not of Mexican or Puerto Rican descent. The assumption from his classmates was that, because of his race and ethnicity, he’d be a liberal. This led to, in his own words, a series of “ethno-political struggles.”
You decide to host an event with comfort food and advice from upperclassmen. It takes you five hours to plan the event. Even though you’re drowning in work, haven’t gone to the gym in weeks, and find yourself generally overwhelmed, you spend five hours planning. If there’s a chance those freshmen, who share backgrounds similar to yours, will feel more supported than you did, you’ll make the time.