Very few of Harvard’s unionized employees live right in the shadow of the university’s campus. Housing around the Square, like retail space, is at a premium. Even if a worker were to secure local housing, some say rental prices would be unsustainable even for the most frugal resident.
“That’s one of the bad things about being a grad student,” Jamison reflects. “It’s one of the few jobs where as a young professional with an advanced degree, you’re not in a position to accumulate wealth or invest in a 401k or in the equity of your home.”
Recently, a commission established by the Mass. state legislature voted 9:1 to approve a report that weighs the benefits and drawbacks of DST. Their report recommends that Mass. switches to the Atlantic Standard Time zone, meaning that the state would effectively keep DST all-year round.
“No one will speak up, and you don’t want to be that one person who speaks up, because it’s something that a lot of people with hearing loss are self-conscious about.” Many professors, she added, do not record their lectures or provide transcripts.
Demonstrators hoped to decry DeVos’s policies and highlight what they saw as Harvard’s complicity in legitimizing them—but they also wanted to “reclaim the narrative” of peaceful protest in the United States.
“There weren’t a lot of question marks,” a professor says. “People knew what to expect.”
These stories provide a window into what it’s like to be an underrepresented minority professor at Harvard, an old and powerful institution that has openly struggled with faculty diversity in the past and present.