Who’s Hanging Out in Harvard Yard

By Jenny M. Lu

With a global pandemic trolling all aspects of the college experience, obviously the hustle and bustle of the one and only Harvard Yard has been disrupted. While the obnoxious tour mobs are temporarily out of sight, out of mind, plenty of masked faces continue to pass through the gates — even after 6 p.m., when only two entrances are open, and Securitas patrols them both. Who are the people behind these masks, and what are they up to?

The Important People™

Back in the pre-corona days, if you were really paying attention, it was easy to spot President Bacow (or, more accurately, his black vehicle parked outside Mass Hall) or Dean Khurana in the Yard. These days, with masks and social distancing, identifying the higher-ups is a little harder; but if you gaze down Oxford Street, you might peep Dean Khurana rolling up to campus on his blue moped.

The Spike Ball Bros

Being a freshman is tough. Before campus became socially distanced and people were actually allowed to hangout together, some underclassmen hoped to connect with lifelong friends through their IM teams. Without this opportunity, our hardcore hobby athletes still need an outlet for their sporty tendencies. Enter the spontaneous, hardcore spikeball tournaments that can pop up anywhere at anytime in the Yard. Watch out, or an aggressively played spikeball might take you down!

The Dorm Escapees

With the majority of our favorite spots on campus inaccessible at the moment, freshmen and upperclassmen on campus have to get creative with their study spots and socially distanced hangout locations. Not only might they be struggling to focus on their psets with a bed calling out from across the room, but they also might be flirting with insanity after weeks stuck inside. The only solution: Escape the indoors! Many of these brave individuals can be found in the Yard working, lounging, or simply refreshing their memories on the smell of fresh air.

The Tourists

While they might not swarm the Yard in impassable masses at the moment, the tourists are still here, and they’re still walking in our way and getting handsy with the statue. Not even masks can hide their true identities, especially when they start taking pictures of students in their first floor dorm rooms…

The Freshman You Matched with on Tinder

We’re all lonely these days. Whether you’re on Tinder or you just haven’t admitted it yet, passing through the Yard could provide the perfect opportunity to spot the freshie you matched with. Did they message you at 2:34 p.m. because they have absolutely nothing to do? Did you message them at 4:50 a.m. because quarantine has completely destroyed your sleep schedule? Who cares! This is the time to make your move but definitely from at least six feet away.

Next time you hangout in our favorite yard, keep your eyes open, and you might notice some of these interesting characters. And if you’re really lucky, you’re already one of them and now have an article written all about you! To all those meandering through the gates, stay healthy, enjoy the Yard, and look out for misaimed spike balls.

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