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Newsletter Must Omit 'Harvard' in Name

By Alex B. Ginsberg, Contributing Writer

The University, in keeping with recent efforts to restrict the use of the Harvard name, recently asked the Harvard Club of New York to change the name of its online newsletter.

The publication, formerly "Harvard Today," changed its name to "Today@hcny" in last Friday's issue.

Senior Administrative Specialist Elizabeth C. Hess, a representative of the provost's office responsible for overseeing the use of the Harvard name within the University umbrella, said she first saw the newsletter eight weeks ago and decided to ask the club to change its name.

The policy, adopted in 1998, limits the use of the Harvard name to University activities. In recent months, the University has begun asking that organizations connected with Harvard register with the University if they want to use the Harvard name.

"Once they understood our policy of reserving the name for University-wide activities, they changed [their publication's name]," Hess said.

But it remains unclear whether Harvard took action because the club's publication violated the University's trademark policy, or whether administrators simply preferred that the club not use the Harvard name in the newsletter. Of late, the University has become increasingly concerned that organizations beyond the control of the University administration will misrepresent it.

The University has asked campus publications--such as "The Harvard Lampoon" and the "Harvard Law Review"--to register their names in exchange for trademark protection, but it has not asked any of them to remove "Harvard" from their mastheads.

According to Barney Oldfield '79 who is responsible for club publications, about 200 people wrote in to suggest new names for the newsletter before the club settled on "Today@hcny."

"People had all kinds of bizarre ideas," Oldfield said. "My idea was "Yale Today.'"

Josselyn G. Simpson '88, one of the club's vice presidents, said her organization bears no animosity toward the University as a result of the request.

"We're not upset. We're happy to keep up a good relationship with the University," Simpson said.

But Oldfield said that some members of the group were a little miffed.

"Most people didn't mind, but some did," Oldfield said.

He added that the name change caused extra paperwork and might have led to confusion among subscribers.

"People had all kinds of bizarre ideas," Oldfield said. "My idea was "Yale Today.'"

Josselyn G. Simpson '88, one of the club's vice presidents, said her organization bears no animosity toward the University as a result of the request.

"We're not upset. We're happy to keep up a good relationship with the University," Simpson said.

But Oldfield said that some members of the group were a little miffed.

"Most people didn't mind, but some did," Oldfield said.

He added that the name change caused extra paperwork and might have led to confusion among subscribers.

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