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I am not surprised that a majority of students who participated in the "Great Grape Referendum" voted to bring grapes back to the dining hall. Who wants to pay homage to political correctness--even in academia, where liberalism is still somewhat fashionable?
The fact is that most people on this campus care very little about the grapeworkers in California, at least not enough for them to affect our culinary options. There are good reasons to vote "yes" on the referendum, but probably very few voted on such principled convictions. Instead, the referendum recorded amazing apathy for issues of social justice, coupled with a favorable opinion of grapes. But given the sad step backward signaled by last Wednesday's vote, if the dining halls serve grapes, those of us who voted against them should not eat them. We cannot hope to effectively pressure our peers not to eat them. We cannot hope to effectively pressure our peers not to eat them because most are too apathetic to be receptive and others will secretly rejoice in the opportunity to so subtly rebel against repressive liberal forces. While the significance of Harvard's boycott will be lost--and cannot be recovered by merely reducing the quantity of grapes ordered by reducing demand--we should stick to our point and forego the grapes.
Let them eat grapes. Those of us who take seriously the principles which motivated us to vote "no" can go without. -Aditi Bagchi '99
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