The Harvard Reclamation Club is small but fiesty--look out for them.
The Harvard Reclamation Club is small but fiesty--look out for them.

Fighting Oppression

Two years ago, John P. Jones ’06 was a just regular Harvard student. He had a full course-load, a full-time
By Aria S.K. Laskin

Two years ago, John P. Jones ’06 was a just regular Harvard student. He had a full course-load, a full-time girlfriend, a position on the Undergraduate Council (UC), and, according to him, a world defined by lies.

“I couldn’t see anything,” he says. “I don’t think I really wanted to. I mean, when you open your eyes, it’s terrifying.”

Then, one day last year, Jones’s friend suggested they spend a day walking around campus. That day, his picture-book world was shattered forever.

“We started in the Yard,” he remembers. “I was floored by the tiny basement offices, the dark common rooms, and the haunted looks of the students living in such conditions.”

After their foray into freshman territory, the two explorers continued on to the River Houses, where Jones realized the dire social straits of many individuals.

“There I was with my great girlfriend and great UC position and great life and they were calling out to me and I was just sickened by their need,” he says.

The last students Jones and his friend visited that day lived in the Quad. At first, Jones says, they were wary of outsiders and suspected the two friends of nefarious purposes. However, after an enthused hour of Quad football, the Quadlings opened up.

“I was overwhelmed,” says Jones. “I learned that day that sometimes the shuttle doesn’t come, that their library isn’t open on Saturdays, and…”

He stops for a moment to master his emotions before continuing. “That day changed my life forever,” he says, his face oddly haunting in the dim candlelight of the cave.

In the depths of Jones’s eyes are the secrets of his people, the people he is currently fighting for. Without him, they are voiceless. With him, they just may succeed.


Jones went to the UC meeting the next day ready to rouse his fellow UC members to fight for their constituents, who were clearly being marginalized and abused by the distant individuals in University Hall.

“I thought they would all jump up and join me,” says Jones. “I stood up, told everyone about my epiphany, and was met with a roomful of blank stares.”

The next day, Jones had lunch with the then-UC President to discuss the organization of a coup. Surprisingly, this person was unreceptive to Jones’s plan.

“He sat there saying it was unrealistic to overthrow the administration. He said that a few hundred thousand dollars a year wasn’t enough to run a college, especially when they had just lost money on Havana in the Harbour. And all I could think was that our brothers and sisters were crying for help out there.”

That day, Jones realized he could no longer live comfortably in his web of lies. Along with three fellow UC members, he split off from the student government and moved to a cave he discovered in the basement of Widener Library. It was in this cave that the HRC (Harvard Reclamation Club, not to be confused with the Harvard Republican Club) was born.

Although currently not a recognized student group, the HRC has successfully run a campaign of sending strongly worded letters and e-mails to the College’s administration, urging them to step down or accept the consequences of the oppressed people’s rage. They have yet to receive a response.

“At first, it all seemed very dark,” says Jones, who thought it was dark because he lives in a cave. “But we have been gaining momentum.”

A number of students signed up for the HRC at this year’s Freshman Activities Fair, and one enthusiastic Texan freshman, Teddy R. Sachs ’09, has even supplied the insurgents with guns he stole from home over Thanksgiving.

“It sure feels good to help out my fellow Americans,” say Sachs, who appears to believe he is a member of the other HRC.


Meanwhile, Jones feels the time for action is fast approaching.

He cites events such as Pub Nights and the failed Springfest Afterparty as proof that students are ready and waiting for a revolution. Furthermore, he sees University Hall’s support of these events as proof the administrators are afraid.

“They are weakening,” he says. “I can smell it in the air.”

And Jones believes incoming UC President Max C. Flounder ’07 will be a cooperative comrade in the upcoming coup.

“He seems like the kind of guy who likes freedom,” says Jones. “The time for co-existence has come to an end. The UC, with the help of maybe HSA [Harvard Student Agencies], are the only bodies who have any business governing this school.”

Sources close to Flounder confirm the new President shares a similar view; he was once overheard at the gym urging a female student to “check out his guns,” a clear sign he has been collecting weapons for the insurgence.

When Flounder formally enters office, HRC’s hopes may be realized. Until then, they are busy poring over floor plans of University Hall, designing a logo, and continuing their letter-writing campaign, all from their hidden cave.

The HRC may live in the dark, but they have certainly seen the light. Now their success depends on whether other students—especially Flounder—will see it as well.