The “Harvard bubble” is a phenomenon that shields students from the responsibilities of adult life, yet also blocks them from engaging with the communities that surround the University. But after Harvard’s campus became off-limits to many, some students find themselves settling outside the bubble’s walls, placing them next to a local housing crisis that the bubble can no longer hide.
Harvard makes its students an implicit promise: that it can give them both a liberal arts education and a high-paying job following graduation. But this promise has never been equally accessible to everyone — and the pandemic has exacerbated this inequity.
When a group of Black Harvard students founded the Generational African American Students Association, they created a new label for an old identity. But the act of naming has raised a host of difficult questions about representation within elite spaces, access to the resources they provide, and the efficacy of promoting marginalized groups within them. And advocating for Generational African American Students carries a fraught undercurrent — a tension between specificity and solidarity, a risk of pitting one marginalized group against another.
In March, a small group of scientists affiliated with Harvard Medical School began self-administering an unapproved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine they had designed alone in a private laboratory. Then, they decided to post their procedure on the internet, claiming it was only ethical that they share their knowledge. The actions of the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative challenge traditional understandings of the scientific process — and it’s unclear whether its “necessary act of compassion” is safe or legal.