November 9, 2023

Volume XXXIV, Issue XVII

Editor's Note

Dear Reader, We hope you’re staying warm despite the wind, rain, and old drafty dorm rooms. But now you have the perfect excuse to curl up with a cup of tea, forget your early-enrollment period stress, and read our issue! It’s a good (and chunky) one. In this issue’s scrut, SJ and YAK bring us back to the ’20s, when Harvard admissions first became competitive. During his term, President Abbott Lawrence Lowell aimed to limit the number of Jewish students on campus to maintain the Anglo-Saxon character of the school. Some of the measures that Lowell’s admissions committee implemented became part of what is now the Harvard Admissions Office’s holistic review process. Other measures evolved into legacy preference, which has come under scrutiny in light of the Supreme Court decision this summer that overturned race-based affirmative action. This scrutiny traces the antisemitic history of legacy admissions and what it says about the exclusionary history of the College. Who does a Harvard education aim to serve? Can college admissions ever be certifiably inclusive at an elite institution? Also in this issue, SSL goes on a run with Graham Blanks ’25, a record-breaking distance runner at Harvard — or more accurately, she goes on a bike ride to keep up Blanks’s “casual” seven-minute-per-mile pace as he chats about his running insights, training regimen, and shares a glimpse into the lifestyle of a collegiate athlete. CNS and AC interview Kylie Hunts-in-Winter ’25, a martial arts world title holder, a prominent advocate for raising awareness of the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and co-president of the Harvard Jiu Jitsu Club. They talk with her about how her martial arts training intersects with her advocacy for women's empowerment and Indigenous rights. AI, AEP, and TNR interview English professor Stephanie L. Burt, who is teaching a new course titled “Taylor Swift and Her World” in the spring, offering students an opportunity to analyze Swift’s lyrics, music, and influence in the broader context of American art and literature. IBC interviews poet Joseph N. Fasano who is dedicated to democratizing poetry by making it accessible to a broader audience. CJY and AXN write about The Aging Initiative at Harvard, co-founded by Alyson D. Harvey and her colleagues, which aims to generate interest and awareness of aging research and the social and financial implications of aging. MMN writes about the ALiVe Project, which is run by researchers at the GSD, in collaboration with the Wyss Institute and SEAS, who are exploring innovative architectural technologies to make more environmentally efficient buildings. CM and LG talk to Delilah Brown, a student at Harvard Extension School who is managing and improving Harvard’s campus eateries, revitalizing the Queen’s Head Pub as well as the Barker and Lamont Cafes. As for the beloved undergraduate hangout Cabot Café, AS and MD report that the managers have delayed its opening due to new regulatory processes, costly certification requirements for student managers, and budget challenges. VWR also ventures to the Quad and reports on the recent game of Harvard Survivor, where 16 participants faced various challenges, searched for hidden idols, and formed alliances. AEP writes a choose-your-own-levity: how will you, a lone biker, make it to Mather in a sea of scooters? EL makes a comic suggesting various ways to be productive on the endless ride between Central Square and Harvard Square on the T. Lucky reader, you get to enjoy not one, but two 15Qs! BWF talks to historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the history of DIY transitioning, trans girl meme culture, and the trans community’s resilience in the face of political attack on all sides. CJK sits down with historian Naomi Oreskes to talk about climate change denialism, the discordance between climate sustainability and economic growth, and her favorite rock (spoiler: it’s Labradorite). It’s that time of the semester and we get it: you’re drowning. No fear, FM is here to provide you with our recommendations for the top 15 best places to cry. We got your back. In this issue’s endpaper, CJK reflects on the impact of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” on her understanding of womanhood, lineage, and the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. We also bring you a crossword puzzle themed for this week’s scrutiny, constructed by crossword master JGH. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for maestroing all year and especially to our design team for bringing us amazing glossies, time after time! Thank you to our execs and writers — we love you. Thank you to BLK and MX for proofing. A huge thank you to KT and HD for filling in our shoes a little prematurely to help us edit during shoot — so proud of and thankful for you two. Thank you to the rest of superboard for making Turkey Shoot deliberations legitimately enjoyable. Good luck to the 151st Guard — you’ll do great! The biggest thank you, as always, goes to my steadfast co-chair. I don’t know what I would do without you by my side (while watching Instagram reels, knitting, and playing online solitaire). Labradorite is cool and all but my favorite rock is and will always be IYG. FM Love, AHL & IYG