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Jennelle Misrepresents Crimson Key Society

By Erin K. Sprague

To the editors:

I am writing in response to Blake Jennelle’s gross misrepresentation of Harvard’s Crimson Key Society in his Dec. 1 column, “Please, Sir, Could You Drink Somewhat Less?

Jennelle criticizes members of Crimson Key and also the Prefect Program for not combating irresponsible drinking at campus parties. He suggests that members of our organizations should “implore hapless hosts to mind the alcohol” and “man the door to control crowds” at parties. Jennelle seems to have relied on stereotypes of Crimson Key especially in formulating his analysis. As co-director of freshman week for our club this year, part of my job was to personally enforce these and other such rules about responsible partying.

It was certainly news to me that prefects and Crimson Key members are “renowned for [our] presence on the weekend prowl.” I always thought this reputation belonged to members of final clubs, social clubs and even residents of notorious party rooms like the Quincy Balcony suite or Currier Ten-Man. Unlike exclusive social clubs and individual residents, the Prefect Program and Crimson Key Society do have strict rules about parties and explicitly forbid partying with the freshmen they serve.

Members of the Crimson Key Society are proud ambassadors of the University, serving at its most important functions. We direct Freshman Week, give tours, help out during events like Arts First and Parents’ Weekends, and usher at Commencement. Like most other extracurricular clubs here on campus, we also enjoy throwing parties for our members and support active social opportunities for all students. I agree wholeheartedly with Jenelle’s pledge to combat irresponsible partying. However, Jennelle fails to recognize that this is something the Crimson Key Society already does.

Erin K. Sprague ’05

Dec. 9, 2003

The writer is the president of the Harvard Crimson Key Society.

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