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Harvard University Police Advisory Board Appoints Undergrad Rep After Yearlong Vacancy

A Harvard University Police Department officer walks through the Science Center.
A Harvard University Police Department officer walks through the Science Center. By Frank S. Zhou
By Ryan H. Doan-Nguyen and Yusuf S. Mian, Crimson Staff Writers

Jonathan Huang ’26 was appointed the lone undergraduate representative on the Harvard University Police Department Advisory Board at a meeting Monday, following nearly a year without a Harvard College student member.

The board, which provides oversight and recommendations for Harvard’s campus police force, has been without undergraduate representation since Noah A. Harris ’22 graduated last May. Harris, who was president of the now-defunct Harvard Undergraduate Council, was the board’s sole undergraduate representative prior to his graduation.

Huang was appointed to a two-year term set to expire in June 2025 along with two other new members — Mary T. Bassett ’74, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Taylor C. McGuire, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The new members are joining the 12-member board with representatives including students, faculty, and administrators from across the University.

Huang wrote in an emailed statement that he was “honored” to join the board.

“As a part of the Board, my goal is to help form a bridge of communication between the students and HUPD, thus making sure that all comments and concerns are properly voiced,” he wrote. “Although I am serving as the sole undergraduate representative, I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent and respond to all of the opinions, thoughts, and needs of the students in the College.”

The department has faced heightened scrutiny this semester in the wake of two high-profile incidents.

On April 3, four Black undergraduates in Leverett House were ordered out of their rooms at gunpoint by HUPD officers responding to a false 911 call from an individual claiming to be armed and holding a woman hostage.

The University’s response sparked a wave of student and alumni outrage, with many criticizing the delay in an official statement from Harvard’s administration, which came around 66 hours after the police entered the dorm.

After the police raid, 45 Harvard organizations co-signed a letter to administrators with demands related to “Harvard’s handling of issues of racial policing and HUPD protocol.” Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow, President-elect Claudine Gay, and HUPD Chief Victor A. Clay met with eight Black student group leaders Friday amid a student rally in support of the letter’s demands.

Huang wrote that the board has “been getting updates and having important discussions” on the swatting attack at Leverett and the ongoing investigation.

Huang added that members of the Advisory Board were also briefed on a potential bomb threat due to a suspicious package that was later deemed safe. The mid-April incident caused the evacuation of Harvard’s Science Center Plaza and parts of the neighboring Science Center.

The Advisory Board is also still actively working with the department on its pending update to the HUPD workload and crime dashboard, according to Huang.

Earlier this month, board member Osiris Rankin told The Crimson that members of the board discussed a newer version of the dashboard with HUPD outside of regularly scheduled meetings.

The workload and crime dashboard has not been updated since June 2021.

—Staff writer Ryan H. Doan-Nguyen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ryandoannguyen.

—Staff writer Yusuf S. Mian can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @yusuf_mian2.

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