College Struggles With Social Space

“It’s a very segregated situation now where people meet in their own dining hall and you really don’t meet people outside of your House,” Balbuena says.

Despite repeated attempts by the administration to create a student center, the lack of such a building remains a permanent obstacle to Harvard social life, some students say.

“This is like the student center on campus,” Ebrahim says, pointing around the crowded room of Lamont Cafe. “And that’s a problem.”


University President Drew G. Faust has said that she hopes to see the creation of more common space for students, faculty, and staff, citing the lower floors of the Holyoke Center as one possible option.

According to Faust, the funding for the creation of a student center is being considered as a possible goal of the upcoming capital campaign.


“My goal would be to find a space where everybody could have shared interactions during the daytime and then at night it would belong to the undergraduates,” Faust says.


Despite these concerns, many students say that although the Harvard social scene may have its flaws, ultimately they have been satisfied with their experience.

“I never felt like I wanted something that wasn’t available,” says Luke L. Sperduto ’11.

Many students say that overall they were happy with Harvard’s social life, and only articulate minor problems with it.

“A social space is a place where you can hang out with your friends or party or something,” says Kevin A. Chenault ’14. “You might have to look for it, but I think there’s a lot of options.”

—Monika L. S. Robbins contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at