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Protest To 'Occupy' Yard

Students plan rally in Harvard Yard in solidarity with national movement

By Bryan S. Erickson and Sabrina A. Mohamed, Contributing Writers

Students and faculty members will protest the University’s investment policies and perceived biases in its economics courses at an “Occupy Harvard” rally in Harvard Yard Wednesday night.

Organizers said they hope the event will draw attention to what they believe was Harvard’s role in the economic crisis while showing solidarity with the national Occupy movement.

“Harvard as an institution has been inextricably involved in a lot of the systems of corporate corruption and greed,” said Sandra Y. L. Korn ’14, an event organizer who is also a member of the Crimson editorial board.

In the past, Harvard’s endowment has supported questionable policies, Gabriel H. Bayard ’15 said.

“Harvard has a long way to go to become a university for the 99 percent,” he added.

Harvard’s classrooms also played a role in the financial crisis, said Benjamin L. Beachy, a student at the Kennedy School and a rally organizer.

“Economic lectures have a way of becoming economic policies in Washington,” he said. “Before the economic crisis, Harvard professors taught the inefficiency of financial regulation and the manifest rationality of investors.”

Protesters will also call for more transparency from the University administration, said Rossen L. Djagalov, a teaching assistant in History and Literature.

“The institution is powerful and affluent. We need people to make sure Harvard lives up to its promise,” he said. “The students involved in the Occupy Harvard movement want Harvard to be the best institution it can be.”

Many see Harvard as a “stronghold for the 1 percent,” Beachy said. “Unfortunately, Harvard has not done enough to disprove that accusation,” he added.

The rally will feature speakers from the Harvard community, including professors from the College, the Law School, and the Business School.

Organizers will also encourage impromptu speeches from Harvard students and members of the labor unions on campus.

“[The event is] really for opening the conversation to the Harvard community,” said Fenna M. Krienen, a teaching fellow in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an event organizer. Krienen said the rally will address issues “that matter to us as students, and for this country as a whole.”

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