Dissent: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

The Board’s well-meaning aspirations of accessibility are just that — aspirational. A bigger Harvard is not necessarily a better Harvard. Elitism doubled is still elitism.

A Flourishing Diversity of Faith

The Harvard Crimson released results from its annual survey of the incoming first year class. Tucked away in the “Politics & Beliefs” corner of the survey lies an oft-overlooked yet important barometer of student diversity: religious belief.

Harvard Says It’s Going Green. How Much Is Hot Air?

According to its latest annual sustainability report, Harvard’s net greenhouse gas emissions held constant for the seventh consecutive year in 2022. While these figures indicate progress, Harvard needs to clear the air regarding how much.

Defending Speech When Speaking Is Hard

Should Harvard fail to respond to this assault, it will announce to the world that, with enough money, with enough effort, the powerful can silence its students at will. Should Harvard fail to defend free speech now, when speaking is hardest, it will invite a future in which we are afraid to speak at all.

Links Beyond Linking Groups

For now, while we object to Harvard’s procedure, we hope this decision on linking will be an opportunity to thoughtfully probe our friendships, and imagine the possibilities they open for flourishing — outside just one House or neighborhood.

Faculty Aren’t Therapists

The best place for students to seek mental health help will never be faculty themselves. In college, we have teachers to teach us, and counselors to counsel us. Sticking to those roles allows each piece of our campus to work smoothly in a functioning whole.

A Better Student Government Is on the Board

If the HUA aims to actually represent the student body, it needs to figure out how to raise response rates on its referenda to a number of voters that isn’t comparable to the word count of a staff editorial.

Street Signs of Change

We hope this project will serve to encourage Cambridge residents to contend with their self-identity, community, and history writ large. We believe these signs hold the power to start all too-infrequent discussions about America’s founding injustice of settler colonialism.

Trans Athletes Have a Place at Harvard

Amid this noxious climate of rhetoric, we reaffirm our support for trans students and athletes on campus. As members of our community, they deserve to feel safe to express themselves to the fullest; their identities should not be shamefully ridiculed or exploited for votes.

Winter is Coming. So is the Course Registration Deadline.

Despite the benefits of early course registration to teaching teams, we take issue with the current implementation. We think that a course registration period over winter break is a more favorable timeline.

Putting in the Work, In and Out of Academia

To loosely quote one of the union’s chants: “Woo-hoo, HUWU! You did it!” HUWU’s organizational labor has paved a path for better student labor at our University — joining this year in national union wins.

For Athlete Admissions, Something’s Got to Give

Athlete recruitment should be consistent with the College’s values of diversity and opportunity. While athletes’ talents are valuable, so are other extracurriculars. The immense boost given to recruited athletes by virtue of a coach’s preference letter should be minimized and their accomplishments should be weighed just like those of their fellow students.

Editorial Snippets: Spooky Season

Now that the occasion has passed — yet exams and dreary weather seem to be sticking around — we asked our Board to reflect on the peculiar (and sometimes existential) sentiments that have characterized this season.

Launch Grants Need More Fuel

Money is money, and launch grants are $2,000 in unrestricted cash. But where propelling low-income students at the College into the heights of postgraduate success is concerned, we’ve yet to see liftoff.

Make The Diversity Statement Optional

It does not surprise us to hear lawmakers are curtailing how academics can be evaluated on the basis of their commitment to diversity, and we have our own critiques of these statements too. But we must not let politics interfere with academics’ ability to express themselves and their devotion to diversity if they so choose.

A Gold Star for Goldin, but None Yet for Economics

Goldin’s Nobel Prize in economics is a stellar achievement not only for her, but also for a generation of female economists beginning their academic journeys. It’s the perfect moment for Harvard to follow Goldin’s lead and champion diversifying Economics for the rest of academia.

Dissent: When Everyone Gets an ‘A,’ What Does an ‘A’ Mean?

We agree that there theoretically exists a world where half of every class gets A’s, but grades still reliably represent competency; this is the ideal world that the Editorial Board argues from. We’d love to live in this world. But the fact is that we don’t.

Dissent: The Cost of Easy A’s

These days, it feels like there’s a new grading system in place at Harvard. Although not officially declared, Harvard’s grade inflation models a shadow pass-fail system — students consider an A or A- as passing and regard a B+ or below as failing.

The Inflated Fixation on Grade Inflation

We’re not swayed by the fearmongering about grade inflation or draconian proposals for deflation. Until we can unlearn certain beliefs about grades, or perhaps restructure grading as a deliberate function of competency, not comparison, we find it hard to condemn such a trend.

Keep Our Small Departments

By merging multiple humanities concentrations, the committee’s proposal overlooks small humanities departments rather than supporting them. It is also a dangerous first step that could lead to further mergers and abolition of academic departments altogether.

Dissent: Departmental Restructuring Won’t Save — or Kill — the Humanities

Convinced that the longevity of Harvard humanities must take precedence over the longevity of its present departmental form, we hope the FAS does not allow questions of structure to elide more fundamental questions of substance.

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