The Book of Joseph
I had never been a big fan of theater until I got to Harvard and started attending wonderful student productions that made me think more deeply and profoundly about life. But being more invested has also made me more conscious of the racial dynamics. As a South Asian, it bothers me that there aren’t more people who look like me on the stage. Although theatre is universally meaningful, this skewed makeup of the performing corps makes it seem less so.
From the ’40s to today, college-wide undergraduate requirements have swung from being philosophical to applicable. In 1979, the College moved from mandating that students take courses in social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences to mandating courses in seven of eleven disciplines. Then-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Henry A. Rosovsky oversaw the creation of 70-odd specific “Core” courses that were independent of any department. Then, in 2007, the faculty voted to move to Gen Ed, which requires students to take classes in eight general categories of learning. At the time, On Harvard Time joked that the curricular review committee had just used a “thesaurus.”
The conversation shows no signs of ending because despite the national scorn heaped on the financial sector during the past year, students are still going to work there. The New York Times reported that 17 percent of Harvard students, 14 percent of Yale students, and 35.9 percent of Princeton students from the class of 2010 went into the financial sector. We can quibble all we want about these figures, but they do suggest that more students are going into finance careers than who actually like finance.