Op Eds

On Paper I Am White, But in Life I Am Not

Labeling us as white actively erases our experiences as Arab Americans. From 2015 to 2018, the yearly number of anti-Arab hate crimes more than doubled from 37 to 82. Despite the discrimination we faced and continue to face, we are not entitled access to remedies for our mistreatment because we are not recognized as our own group under federal law. We are white by law, but do not enjoy the social privileges of whiteness.

"It's Good to be Back”: Experiencing Sexual Misconduct on Campus

With so many men — and women — acting as enablers, it feels pointless to push back. Why bother? I’ve asked myself this many times this semester. Years of gaslighting have worked on me. Anxious not to seem bitter or sensitive or like I’m playing the victim, I can instead convince myself that I’m being dramatic. I can continue to go to parties and have a waist ready to be grabbed and a lower back eager to be touched. I can continue to show up and accept what I now know is reality.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Bureaucracy is Failing Students with Disabilities

Many able-bodied students are accustomed to frustrating experiences when navigating the HKS bureaucracy on issues ranging from financial aid to course registration. For students with disabilities, however, these inconveniences evolve into recurring headaches that impair their ability to thrive academically and socially.

Please Stop Campaigning

While there are certainly some behaviors and attitudes that should not be sanctioned under the pretext of predisposition, I think the luxury of living in such a diverse world is that we can choose our own friends and associates: those with whom we feel most compatible.

The Backpacks We Carry: Talking About Suicide at Harvard

With this most recent display proving to be one of performativity rather than progress, the ensuing lack of dialogue exposed an alarming lack of compassion, and this kind of neglect poses a serious threat.

What does ‘Defund the UC’ Actually Mean?

We deserve a student government that effectively serves us and delivers on the resources we contribute to it. We deserve a social scene that everyone can find a space in, a say in how our money gets spent, and to be well-represented with Harvard’s administration. Given the UC’s failure to meet these standards, I say it’s high time we engage in a proud Boston tradition: revolution.

What Criticisms of Grade Inflation Really Tell Us

Criticisms of grade inflation mistakenly take a handful of letters to represent a potent educational spirit that goes much deeper. But in perhaps a greater way, they grasp a truth of Harvard we would all do well to admit.

Las Palmas: Not My Dominican Kitchen

As a Dominican student at Harvard, I am disappointed that Las Palmas does not seem willing to run the risk of offering authentic food that would perhaps be rejected by many on Harvard’s campus on account of being too foreign, although I am not particularly surprised.

A Revolution of Rest

To begin eroding the spirit’s control, we students must begin by choosing not to work, at times. If you’ve made it here, you have the work ethic and study habits necessary to succeed and find some rest in-between, even if that means you don’t end up valedictorian. Just do you. And rest too.

Stop Exiling Republicans to Echo Chambers

Hurtful, noxious rhetoric is a legitimate, frightening reality, and I have no intention of downplaying the difficulty and near-impossibility of giving grace to those who peddle dehumanizing ideologies, especially when those hateful perspectives target us or our communities. Nonetheless, it is critical that we resist the urge to flatten the diversity of opinion among conservatives to the most vocal, radical, spiteful individuals on the fringes of society.

Salient Opinions Are Signed

Harvard should celebrate forums for speech beyond the scope and sensibility of The Crimson’s Editorial pages. But self-ostracism only perpetuates a culture of political orthodoxy. I challenge my peers to eschew anonymous bylines for the public square.

Integrals, Integration, and Identity

In many ways, I understand — and perhaps reinforce — this power. As we share reflections in my freshman seminar on mental illness, I appreciate the personal encounters that drove each of us to this space. In conversations on health policy, I prioritize voices that have lost loved ones to the disparities we speak of in theory. I love the friends I’ve made over dissecting problem sets and deconstructing problematic institutions.

The Practice of Body Positivity Requires More

On the whole, we have failed to consider body positivity as both a mental and physical action-related mindset. The media has long promoted bodies that are too thin, and as we reshape our own attitude toward our own health, we must consider all angles and components of a movement that first began as a husband’s mission to help his wife.

Why You Should Take 30 Seconds to Vote in the UC Election

Though our time at Harvard is limited, as undergraduates we have the power to enact sweeping change in an otherwise slow-moving institution. To do so is not an easy task and without our community's trust and active participation, the Undergraduate Council cannot progress toward a collective vision of the campus and society we deserve.

How Do We Combat Post-Pandemic Amnesia? Public Service and Student Activism

Being at Harvard has taught us both many lessons on how to be, think, and act. One of Harvard’s lessons that we refuse to learn, however, is how to shirk our responsibilities to one another. Instead, we beg you all to think differently, to toss post-pandemic amnesia aside, and to take up the call of public service.

This UC Election, Vote for You

Tools like Pol.is are changing what’s possible for democracies. We shouldn’t shy away from experiments: It was just 80 years ago that the world boasted fewer than 10 democracies. We are positive that the College is capable of more cooperation and better governance than the dreary state of the UC suggests.

The Dangers of Drinking from a Firehose

Some firehosing is useful to build the skills necessary to eventually do real work or research. It will occasionally be necessary to use a result we can’t prove or quote a passage we don’t fully understand. But we can plan our commitments at Harvard so we only have to do so rarely. And at the very least, we should feel a little guilty whenever we do.

Beyond the Blocking Group

Since we typically choose groups based on who we want to spend time with, it’s all too easy for groups to become isolated bubbles of like-minded individuals selected based on freshman year social preferences. These bubbles collectively reinforce social stratification as they stay intact over the next three years. Rather than encouraging us to get to know those outside our usual communities, such policies can cement groups and stifle social exploration and connectivity past “our people.”

The Chinese Etchings on My Shield of Achilles

To embark on a journey to uncover the untold histories of peoples who are deemed unimportant by neglect, I suppose, will always lead to moments like this. The shield of Achilles, no matter how glorious in intention, is after all, an etched portrait of the horrors of war. The pursuit of history, no matter how optimistic we may be of the future because of it, is after all, our etchings of pasts made possible only by deaths and the passage of time. I’ll keep etching, but for now, I want to mourn.

I’ve Got A Blank Space, Baby. And I’ll Write My Name.

These are questions that I’ll probably come back to again and again in the coming years, as I continually re-evaluate my purpose and time. But as I stumble through arduous days and swirling nights trying to make up for lost youth, I will do my best to remember one thing — I didn’t come to Harvard to suffocate.

Tuition Should Be $1 Million

At the heart of need-based financial aid is a promise of equity: Everyone who can get into Harvard should be able to afford Harvard, too. The simple solution to the problem of the upper-middle-class family struggling to pay Harvard’s full tuition is to make our financial aid system more robust and cover their costs.

Calm Your Ambition: A Call for Student Activism

Our myopic personal ambition is probably what got us here. We focus on classes, spending hours each day to obtain impressive results. Many of us work to impress our professors or advisors because we either want an A, need yet another recommendation letter, or maybe because sucking up is just in our blood by now. The first question people ask when doing something new is always “is this allowed?”

Harvard is a School. It Should Value Education. Part II.

Twice now, Harvard has quietly axed opportunities that encouraged its undergraduates to teach. The least we can do is make things less quiet. Do administrators understand the cumulative gravity of these choices? Do they care? Do you?

Harvard’s Covid-Positives Deserve Better Support

Harvard must establish better systems of support for its students who test positive for Covid-19. With its twice-a-week testing program, indoor mask mandate, and social gathering restrictions, the College has implemented a cohesive strategy for mitigating and tracking the virus. Once a student tests positive, however, it appears that Harvard’s careful plan of action falls apart.

We Need to Talk About Fatphobia

The power we give to the word “fat” creates these issues, and we turn a blind eye. We cannot ignore the damage we create. In order to dismantle fatphobia, we need to unlearn the assumptions we make about fat people. Rather than “fat” as a moral condemnation, it should simply be a visual descriptor.

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