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A Note From the Editorial Board

By Cormac A. Early and Melissa Quino mccreery

Harvard's need-blind financial aid policies may no longer be threatened by federal funding cuts to higher education, but many of the challenges and controversies experienced at Harvard by the Class of 1982 remain important issues today. Then as now, Harvard's relations with local residents were in the spotlight, with signs of progress and cooperation mixed with discontent and allegations of poor treatment by the University. Today's wrangling over Allston echoes disputes in 1982 over the Medical School's energy plant (MATEP) and the acquisition of land at University Place. The referendum to create a new Undergraduate Council raised perennial questions of effectiveness, independence, and minority representation in student government, as well as a debate over the best way to fund minorities' student groups. After lively debate on both sides, the constitution was eventually approved and is still in effect today. Allegations of discrimination at the University, then as now, caused controversy. Theda Skocpol, then a candidate for tenure and now the outgoing Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, accused the University of sexism, the Director of Harvard's Center for Behavioral Sciences controversially called on society to exert "negative social pressures to deter homosexuality," and Women's Studies struggled for meaningful recognition as a degree-granting concentration. Many of the specific struggles from 1982 have been won, but the broader issues-issues of Harvard's treatment of its neighbors and its students, and of women and minorities-remain to be resolved. The selection of editorials on this page illustrates both how much and how little has changed.

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