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Harvard Undergraduate Association Proposes Academic Freedom Petition to Student Body

The Harvard Undergraduate Association office is located in the Collaborative Commons on the second floor of Smith Campus Center. The HUA proposed an academic freedom petition and two wellness initiatives.
The Harvard Undergraduate Association office is located in the Collaborative Commons on the second floor of Smith Campus Center. The HUA proposed an academic freedom petition and two wellness initiatives. By Frank S. Zhou
By Cam N. Srivastava and William Y. Tan, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard Undergraduate Association proposed an academic freedom petition and two wellness initiatives during a meeting Monday evening.

In an email Tuesday morning, the HUA encouraged the student body to fill out an academic freedom petition in response to discussions by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences about moving up the deadline to register for courses and pushing back the pass-fail deadline. The faculty are expected to vote on the proposal next month.

“Our faculty should be focused on making the course registration experience less restrictive, not more,” HUA Co-Presidents John S. Cooke ’25 and Shikoh M. Hirayabashi ’24 wrote in the email.

The survey asks students if they approve of the FAS plan to move the course registration deadline without instructor approval to the second Monday of the semester and how adding courses later in the semester improves their experience at Harvard.

“We’re going to be gaining students’ insight on how they use add-drop to bolster our arsenal for when we negotiate with people like FAS,” Cooke said Monday night.

At the meeting, the HUA’s Wellness Team discussed a spa day event it will be holding on March 2 at Buttrick Hall in Memorial Church.

Well-Being Team Officer Allison M. Hunter ’26 said in addition to offering complimentary food trays and goodie bags containing tea and facemasks, she plans to hold a raffle at the event in which five students will be selected to receive free massages.

In the same Tuesday email, Cooke and Hirayabashi informed the student body of a new HUA party closet from which organizations can request speakers and LED lights for events.

The HUA’s Social Life Team also announced an upcoming ice skating excursion, during which students can accompany members of the team on a free ice skating outing on March 1.

Inclusion Team Officer Ashley C. Adirika ’26 also reported on the HUA’s “Cupid’s Chow” initiative, which provided students an opportunity to obtain a voucher for a free meal during the week of Valentine’s Day.

“We had 214 orders fulfilled. More vouchers than that went out, but there was a small percentage of people who actually didn’t use the voucher before it expired,” Adirika said.

“We actually spent less than the amount of money allocated to this event, and we received a lot of positive feedback,” she added. “Everyone loves the HUA.”

—Staff writer Cam N. Srivastava can be reached at cam.srivastava@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @camsrivastava.

—Staff writer William Y. Tan can be reached at william.tan@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @william_y_tan.

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CollegeStudent GroupsStudent LifeFASAcademicsHarvard Undergraduate Association