A Look Back

Selected Opinions of The Crimson Staff on the Major Issues of the Year


The Great Hall is no more. Regret it not.

Though scores of first-years had passed through the Union's old distinguished dining room, in its last years it had grown tawdry. The famous butter-patted ceiling was looking more dirty than distinguished; the paint was peeling off the walls; the rotunda was encased with God-awful green-blue floral curtains; and the tray return area was a steam-filled Rube Goldberg contraption.

Now the first-years take their meals in a beautifully reworked Annenberg Hall. And the Union has become the Barker Center for Humanities, housing 12 different University departments and centers.... Kudos go to the University and its architects, who did a fine job balancing the old and the new.... Harvard ought to continue renovating and revamping its other older buildings with a similar eye to that used in the Barker Center construction. The University's beautiful old campus will benefit from future updates which incorporate the spirit of the past into a productive future. Sept. 17, 1997



The loss last week of MIT first-year Scott Krueger was nothing short of tragic. For most college students left to reflect on his death, the incident has served as a sad reminder that activities considered to be a routine part of college life can be dangerous and even fatal....

The cause of preventing alcohol-related deaths could be greatly advanced by making sure that every first-year is schooled in the basic knowledge about alcohol consumption and overconsumption or abuse....

Proctors and tutors need to take a more responsible approach to the problem of heavy drinking instead of sending the message of "as long as I don't see it, it's all right." Leaving inexperienced first-years to figure out their own limits without guidance leaves them in the kind of ignorance that cost Scott Krueger his life. Proctors and tutors should either give a stern warning about the risks of drinking, in terms of both physical health and administrative punishment, or--and this might be the more effective approach--they should advise students on how to drink safely.   Oct. 7, 1997


On the eve of Jiang Zemin's visit to Harvard, we welcome both the Chinese president and his critics. From Jiang, we expect words of historic importance. From his critics, we hope to see a vociferous and memorable protest....

Jiang, a professed fan of American culture, will have his chance to see American-style political activism up close--perhaps too close for comfort. Here and nowhere else will Jiang take questions from students interested in the issues, who are not fawning before a powerful head of state. Unfortunately, at Jiang's request, he will have seen the questions beforehand--a far cry from the unscripted question period agreed to by most political speakers at Harvard....

[Still,] at Harvard, seen by many abroad as a bastion of American liberalism, Jiang will be forced to confront calls for democratic reform more than anywhere else on his U.S. tour. At Harvard, more than anywhere else, Jiang will be forced to see that in America, the right to free expression is not his alone.   Oct. 31, 1997


Throngs of Harvard students and affiliates flooded New Haven on Saturday. They taunted Elis, celebrated Harvard's dominance and imbibed. And some of them even went to a football game.

The Game saw Harvard reach a number of team marks, capping off what was arguably the team's best season ever. For the first time in its history, the Crimson has beaten all the other members of the Ivy League. For the first time since 1919, it has completed a nine-win season. And for the first time since 1987, Harvard sits atop the Ivy League as the division champion....