It is easy, at times, to forget the world beyond Harvard Yard and the residential houses. Certainly, many students set aside the Real World during reading period and during exams. But Harvard University--like so many other colleges--is no ivory tower. The world thrusts itself on Harvard every day, Students and faculty feel it; they debate it in classes and in the dining halls each night. And occasionally--perhaps regularly during an election year--Harvard influences the outside world.
In On The Scene, The Harvard Crimson first examines race relations on American college campuses. Harvard students grappled with the issue this spring when City University of New York Professor Leonard Jeffries fisted the campus. The nation joined us when the Rodney King verdict fell and riots erupted in Los Angeles.
Colleges today are more racially diverse than ever before, and yet racial incidents on campus continue to occur regularly. The new diversity may be part of the problem, but it is also a sign of hope. Our nation's colleges--through their ability to foster discussion and debate--may help the country resolve its enduring struggle with the issue of race.
This supplement's other stories may not be as weighty, but they all cover interesting topics that go beyond Johnston Gate--the changing meaning of relationships on college campuses, the mysterious lure of law school, the University's non-role role in the 1992 election and the high stakes game of attracting scholars to campus.
On The Scene is an attempt to explore the juncture between the University and the world. It is a crossing that many will not the Commencement day. It is also one that we embrace every day.