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Students Plan for Wintersession

By Nikita Kansra, Crimson Staff Writer

Students will participate in activities ranging from artistic projects to pre-professional development during this year’s Wintersession, which will last from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22.

This year, all students will be allowed to return to campus for Wintersession, a longer, revamped version of last year’s Optional Winter Activities Week.

“We heard about [Wintersession], and it seemed like a good way to get people involved in spoken word,” said Kyra A. Atekwana ’14, the co-president of Speak Out Loud, a spoken word group on campus.

Atekwana’s organization will be conducting a week-long workshop featuring guest performances by local poets. Participants of the Speak Out Loud workshop will present their work in a showcase at the end of the week.

“It’s low-key and it’s meant to be a way to relax and do something without the pressure of so many classes,” Atekwana said.

Respectably French!, a sketch comedy group, is also hosting a workshop for students staying on campus during Wintersession.

During the session, members and non-members will learn about the production of short sketches.

“Having the free time and resources of Wintersession lets us shift around and learn more about different aspects of production,” Mary C. Hallowell ’14, a member of Respectably French!, wrote in an email.

Other events include a week-long yoga retreat in Adams House, a bronze-sculpting workshop sponsored by the Harvard Art Museums, and recreational activities such as snow sculpting and rock climbing sessions hosted by Harvard Athletics and the Center for Wellness.

A slew of career-oriented activities will be offered as well. The Harvard Alumni Undergraduate Connection will be hosting a conference about networking, and the Harvard College Leadership Working Group will be conducting a two-day program about leadership development.

Many Wintersession workshops are student-run and funded by the Undergraduate Council, which has spent about $20,000 on over 30 programs, The Crimson reported in November.

The Office of Career Services will be conducting a research proposal writing seminar, and the Freshman Dean’s Office will hold a winter culinary class.

Despite the variety of offerings from both student groups and College offices, some students do not plan to participate in these activities.

Mihir J. Chaudhary ’12 said that he, like many other seniors, will be returning to campus early to work on his thesis. Meanwhile, some athletes will begin training for the spring season.

“I wouldn’t mind spending 10 days doing absolutely nothing,” said Kevin G. Sun ’15, who says he will be coming back to campus early anyway.

“Wintersession is a week on campus with access to the same incredible people and resources as during the semester but without the pressure and stress,” said Miriam R. Farkas ’14 in an email. Farkas will be hosting a four-day experimental cooking class to teach students a set of college “survival recipes.”

—Staff writer Nikita Kansra can be reached at

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