Ten Stories That Shaped 2019

Beginning with a dean's decision to represent Harvey Weinstein and ending with a graduate student strike, 2019 was an eventful year at Harvard. Students pushed for change via protests, whether they called for an ethnic studies program or for divestment. Outside news touched campus, too, as University affiliates examined Harvard's relationship to Jeffrey Epstein. Here, The Crimson reviews ten stories that defined the past twelve months on campus.

Justice Department Continues Investigation Into Harvard Admissions

A Department of Justice investigation into alleged discrimination in Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policies remains ongoing, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Crimson last month.

Admissions Office 'Moving Ahead' on Suggestions from Trial Ruling, Fitzsimmons Says

Harvard College’s Admissions Office is “moving ahead” with the suggestions that Judge Allison D. Burroughs included in her ruling on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67.

Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid

The Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is located in Radcliffe Yard. High school seniors received their Early Action acceptances to the College on Thursday afternoon.

Harvard Students Occupy Admissions Office to Protest Tenure Decision, Demand Ethnic Studies Department

Roughly 50 Harvard students occupied Harvard’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Thursday to demand the University create an ethnic studies department, arguing that Harvard must extend its commitment to diversity beyond race-conscious admissions.

Early Action Acceptance Rate Increases to 13.9 Percent

The College invited 895 of 6,424 early applicants to join its Class of 2024 Thursday around 7 p.m. The 13.9 acceptance rate represents a 0.5 percent increase from last year. The early admission acceptance rate has not increased year-over-year since 2013.

SFFA Expert Witness Releases Working Paper Examining Harvard’s Recruitment of African American Applicants

A new working paper by Students for Fair Admissions expert witness Peter S. Arcidiacono alleged that Harvard sends recruitment materials to African American high school students who “effectively have no chance of being admitted” in order to raise the number of African American applicants to the school each year and lower the College’s acceptance rate.

College Board Student Search Program Under Fire For Selling Prospective Students’ Information

The longtime college admissions practice of purchasing student names and information from the College Board — in which Harvard has long participated — has come under scrutiny from experts who say the program commodifies admissions and violates student privacy.

Agassiz House

The Admissions Office leads tours from its visitor center in Agassiz House on James Street.

Legacy, Athlete, and Donor Preferences Disproportionately Benefit White Applicants, per Analysis

Forty-three percent of white admits to Harvard College are athletes, legacies, children of faculty, or members of a hand selected list curated by top administrators, according to working papers by Students for Fair Admissions-hired expert witness Peter S. Arcidiacono.

After Admissions Scandals, Harvard Requires Coaches to Provide Proof of Recruits’ Athletic Abilities

In the wake of admissions scandals both nationwide and at the University, Harvard has implemented new policies — including requiring coaches to provide proof of recruits’ athletic abilities — to prevent fraudulent athletic admissions, according to Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise.

Adam K. Mortara

Adam K. Mortara — the head lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions — answers questions from Harvard Law School students after speaking at an event hosted by the Harvard Federalist Society Tuesday afternoon.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Attorneys Discuss Admissions Lawsuit Ruling with Harvard Cultural Affinity Groups

Michaele N. Turnage Young, senior counsel at the NAACP LDF, answered students’ questions about the forthcoming appeals process. SFFA filed its notice of appeal on Friday — a move experts say could extend litigation for several years.

Lead Trial Lawyer for SFFA Criticizes Ruling in Harvard Admissions Lawsuit

Students for Fair Admissions’s lead trial lawyer Adam K. Mortara denounced the recent ruling in the Harvard admissions lawsuit, arguing at a Harvard Law School event Tuesday that the judge had misinterpreted the case’s facts and legal precedents.

Harvard President Bacow Says He's Confident Appeals Court Will Uphold Admissions Decision

University President Lawrence S. Bacow said in an interview on Monday that he is confident an appeals court will uphold a federal judge’s recent ruling that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian American applicants in its College admissions policies.

Students for Fair Admissions Files Notice of Appeal in Harvard Admissions Case

Students for Fair Admissions filed a notice of appeal to the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals Friday afternoon in its longtime suit against Harvard alleging that the College’s admissions process unlawfully discriminates against Asian American applicants.

The Harvard Admissions Lawsuit Decision, Analyzed

Burroughs’s opinion contains fact-finding and legal arguments that will feature prominently in any appeals process — and could serve as a guide for future affirmative action cases. The Crimson analyzes the opinion’s key findings and conclusions.

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