Touching on another hot-button campus issue, Leah C. Singer '16, chair of the UC Finance Committee, asked Faust the UC’s funding issues and its efforts, unsuccessful so far, to increase its annual budget. Faust referred the question to Pfister, who expressed support for UC funding efforts, but emphasized that Harvard continues to face budgetary constraints and the lack of flexibility in shifting money to student groups.
Singer said after the forum that she understood their answers, but expressed frustration that “nothing new was presented on the conversation.”
Harvard’s endowment also came up in the question-and-answer session. Blake McGhghy ’17, a member of the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition, asked Faust if she believed the practices at Harvard-owned Argentinian plantations aligned with the University’s values.
Faust then called on McGhgy and others to read an op-ed published Wednesday by Andrew G. Wiltshire, head of alternative assets for the Harvard Management Company, which she said detailed “misstatements” that Responsible Investment at Harvard has propagated. Faust implored members to “look at those facts” and recognize that “any debate about responsible investment must begin with the facts.”
In addition, Faust faced questions regarding the loss of summer storage space in undergraduate Houses undergoing renewal and the absence of Latino studies programs on campus, among other topics.
UC President Gus A. Mayopoulos '15 and Vice President Sietse K. Goffard '15 described administrators’ responses as constructive and honest, but acknowledged that “the student advocates were definitely looking for more in [Faust’s] answers.”
Mayopoulos said that although various administrators have listened to the Council’s concerns, communication could be improved.
“It would be nice for us to have partners in the administration who worked with us to make these changes happen instead of denying us the changes that students want,” he said.
—Staff writer Noah J. Delwiche can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ndelwiche.
—Staff writer Amna H. Hashmi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amna_hashmi.