As Harvard continues to reckon with its racist elements past and present, student input is key. A committee of student leaders and activists would be able to speak personally about how Harvard can actively support Black and Indigenous students. The Legacy of Slavery report has provided a solid scholarly foundation: Students will provide a personal perspective.
Harvard’s money and expertise provide an opportunity to help not only our own students but countless others who would benefit from our research. We have the power not only to help those directly afflicted but to serve a nation that will one day depend on a generation now adrift. We must exercise that power. Lives depend on it.
We want to make one thing clear: This is a labor issue, a labor trend even. Time and time again, when push comes to shove and Harvard faces economic difficulty, it is those with the least institutional power that must pick up the slack. This systematic undervaluing of lower-paid, less “prestigious” labor is unjust and wide-ranging. It’s by no means the first time that Harvard has failed to treat its workers fairly.
We do not take this decision lightly. BDS remains a blunt approach, one with the potential to backfire or prompt collateral damage in the form of economic hurt. But the weight of this moment — of Israel’s human rights and international law violations and of Palestine’s cry for freedom — demands this step. As a board, we are proud to finally offer our unqualified support for Palestinian liberation and in support of BDS — and we call on everyone to do the same.
Although there is a lot to be done to address education inequality at Harvard and beyond, programs such as TAP and the Bridge program are a step in the right direction. Harvard should take as much pride in such initiatives as it does in others. This is the Harvard we are proud of.
We’re glad to see Harvard taking strides in the right direction, and we hope to see more in the future. More apparency of the Ed Portal’s accessibility for Allston residents who may be turned off by the Harvard name. More financial investment in the program. More student involvement. And most importantly, more inclusion of those who call Allston home.
After a hiatus brought on by Covid-19, Dorm Crew is finally back! Well, sort of. In its new, post-Covid iteration, instead of hiring students to clean dorm bathrooms as it has for nearly 70 years, Dorm Crew will now hire students to do audiovisual work for houses and classrooms under the Education Support Services framework. We’re not quite sure what to call it now — Audiovisual Crew just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
We will be here to welcome you into our communities, including this very Editorial Board. We will be here to share with you our traditions and our worries — Housing Day, courses, long walks to the Quad, the latest Harvard University Dining Services creation — and watch them become yours too. We can’t wait for your arrival in August to breathe new life into a historical campus and for you, the reader, to leave your own little mark. Above all, we hope you can find a home here that you love.
Our Harvard, the current Harvard, is no longer the sort of community that would happily overlook Westmorly’s fireplace — most of our peers, we’d hope, wouldn’t pose and kiss by it, delighting in white supremacy-laced luxury. But we are, at the same time, the exact same Harvard, plagued by the same ghosts in different clothes, weighed down by our past. Until we recognize that much, until we can speak with nuance and depth about our very worst crimes, we too will remain trapped in stone, unable to move or change, our core values hidden behind hollow panels.
Almost every student at Harvard has multiple academic passions. Thank you to everyone who voted for double concentrations for letting us follow them to the fullest extent we can.
The hiring of Taeku Lee and the promise of more ethnic studies professors to come marks an important first step in the long-needed expansion of the studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and migration at the college. We hope the University makes its future hires with an eye toward its own junior faculty too often overlooked, and we cannot wait to see what all these talented individuals bring to our community.
In the back of our minds, we can’t help but ask: what else will Harvard do to further its commitment to economic diversity and open its gates to the greatest young minds all over the world — and treat them well even after they have arrived on this campus and contributed to the University’s brand of exclusivity and tremendous equalizing potential?
From the perspective of law or policy, it’s not clear what our courts or legislatures should compel Harvard to do, as far as refunding a portion of their tuition during virtual learning. But we hope that decision-makers recognize the unfairness imposed on the students least privileged with the ability to freely choose between virtual semesters and alternatives.
Ultimately, we maintain that all Houses, Quad or river, can be lovely homes. We also know that sometimes, things just don’t work out. That’s okay — but only as long as the College fulfills its obligations to support unsatisfied students through housing improvements and a better transfer system.
Our vision of inspiration here is less so the illusions of grandeur we may often observe from some of our peers, rather, we ask that you, and really, ourselves, reflect more deeply. The safe option is safe precisely because it is stable, with a high guarantee of success so long as we follow the well-trodden path. Yet when these moments arise, we can’t help but think: Take the risk, so long as we get the chance to.
Time and time again, we have written about this topic. It seems simple. Don’t sexually assault or harass students. Don’t sexually assault or harass peers. Don’t sexually assault or harass co-workers. Don’t sexually assault or harass people. But to solve a problem of this magnitude, whatever its complexity, we have to care.
There are limits to what a constitution, any constitution, can change to fix this issue. But precisely because of that, we must be intentional and critical about the changes we seek to make, being careful that we don’t end up in square one, with none of the original momentum for reform. Until we’re offered an adequate alternative — until we get a seat at the table to help create that alternative — we cannot support the scramble to reform.
When confronted with tremendous losses caused by acts of extreme violence, it is understandable for us to seek some sort of action to take — actions that can emphasize our agency and counter the paralyzing feeling of powerlessness. But the death penalty is not this action.