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Harvard Hall Final Exam Locations Changed as Harvard Yard Encampment Enters Second Week

Final exams scheduled for Harvard Hall were moved to a new location as the pro-Palestine encampment in Harvard Yard looks set to last into the start of Harvard College's exam period.
Final exams scheduled for Harvard Hall were moved to a new location as the pro-Palestine encampment in Harvard Yard looks set to last into the start of Harvard College's exam period. By Julian J. Giordano
By Michelle N. Amponsah and Joyce E. Kim, Crimson Staff Writers

Final examinations originally scheduled to take place in Harvard Hall were relocated to buildings outside of Harvard Yard amid the ongoing pro-Palestine encampment, marking one of several location changes likely caused by the Yard encampment.

In a Tuesday email to Harvard affiliates, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office announced updated locations for the final exams of 25 courses. Though the office did not explain why the exams had been relocated, the move comes as the pro-Palestine student encampment in the Yard — which has steadily expanded to take over the lawn between University Hall and Harvard Hall — entered its seventh day.

Harvard Hall has also become a location for protesters to study and gather outside of the encampment area as the demonstration coincides with finals period and students balance exam preparation with their activism.

Harvard spokespeople did not respond to a Tuesday request for comment on the changes.

The decision to move final exams out of an academic building in the Yard reflects administrators’ growing concern about the encampment and indicates that the demonstration has begun to interfere with the College’s regularly-scheduled programming.

As the encampment enters its second week — expanding from 23 to over 50 tents — its presence right underneath the John Harvard statue and immediately outside the offices of top University administrators has not gone unnoticed, and College administrators have initiated disciplinary action procedures against student protesters.

On Monday, more than 30 student protesters were called to appear before the Administrative Board, an administrative body responsible for the application and enforcement of Harvard College policies.

The changes in final exam locations are among a string of other last-minute moves by the College and University to relocate events originally scheduled to take place in the Yard — changes that have been announced just days, or sometimes mere hours, before the events began.

The location changes also affected a rare town hall between members of the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — and voting members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The meeting was set to take place in the Faculty Room in University Hall, which protesters camp and chant directly in front of.

On Tuesday morning, just hours before the town hall, the meeting was relocated to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, well away from the Yard and the encampment.

Other events scheduled to be held in University Hall were also moved to locations outside of the Yard.

The Detur Book Prize ceremony, which honors students receiving one of the oldest academic prizes at Harvard, announced two days before the ceremony that the event would move to Yenching Library from its annual location in University Hall. The updated event invitation did not explain why the ceremony was relocated.

The encampment — organized by Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, a coalition of pro-Palestine groups demanding Harvard disclose and divest from investment and companies in Israel — began last Wednesday as an emergency rally that progressed into an occupation of the most visible part of the Yard.

In his second email to College undergraduates addressing the encampment, Dean of Students Thomas Dunne wrote on Saturday that the demonstration has disturbed students in freshman dorms trying to study for their final exams.

The University restricted access to the Yard to Harvard University ID holders last Sunday in apparent anticipation of demonstrations on Harvard’s campus. The closure was extended indefinitely last Friday, according to an email obtained by The Crimson.

It remains unclear for how many more days the encampment will continue.

—Staff writer Michelle N. Amponsah can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mnamponsah.

—Staff writer Joyce E. Kim can be reached at Follow her on X at @joycekim324.

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