April 7, 2022

Volume XXXIII, Issue VII

Editor's Note

Dear Reader, At this point in the semester, reality is starting to blur. Late nights bleed into early mornings, the diluted d-hall coffee does little to bust our brain fog, and we shuffle around campus, heads down, barely aware of our surroundings. We’re past the gloom of March but not yet in the warmth of May (aka April), in that misty, liminal space post-spring break but pre-reading period. It’s the perfect atmosphere, we think, for a real-life mystery. In this issue’s scrutiny, SJL uncovers the dark truth about a century-old fireplace in Adams House: it has racist caricatures sculpted into its pillars. House administrators boarded up them without a word to divert students’ attention away, and three years later, they have yet to formally, publicly acknowledge these sculptures or their cover-up. In many ways, this story gets at the very hearth of Harvard, from the smoke and mirrors around its bureaucracy to the silence that shrouds its history to the racism quite literally built into its foundation. In another triumph over artistic censorship, HRTW debuts the first-ever levity that he pitched and JGG approved — yes, really! — which describes his valiant efforts to protect the Quad community from the Cantabrigian hooligans trespassing on their lawn (including, but not limited to, middle-aged white women playing golf). As usual this week, our inquisitive reporters asked some tough questions around campus and beyond. SCS talked to some students and faculty who say that the Harvard community’s strong demonstration of support for Ukraine, in contrast with its inaction during similar crises in non-white and non-Christian countries, reflects a racial double standard. KKC inquired into the complex calculus that FGLI students face when deciding whether to take time off from school. SAL asked a series of well-traveled women about the risks and rewards of solo globetrotting. MG and JKW interviewed a new club that’s working to counter the exclusivity of Harvard’s creative writing scene. KIB and FJB visited Make & Mend, a secondhand craft supply store in Somerville where thrifting is an art of its own. SBF and AG profiled Kenneth Gloss, an antique book dealer and the proprietor of Brattle Street Book Shop (whose surname alone qualifies him to be an FM ambassador, tbh). Our writers also uncovered the answers to some lighter but no less urgent questions, such as: How do I land a date using ~science~? (EDP) Where did the turkeys in Harvard Yard originally come from? (SD and KNF) What the heck is curling?? (HPD and KLM) Who in their right mind would buy an NFT from a TikToker??? (JKF and WSH) Finally, in her second (!) endpaper of the semester, KT holds up a magnifying glass to her seemingly mundane job at the Lamont front desk to find the quiet joy and meaning within her work, the “big small ways” in which she can make an impact. That said, I’m also very grateful for the people who helped out in big big ways this week. Thank you to KL for top-notch scrut proofing. To SSI and TCK for endpaper excellence. To Multimedia, especially BYC, for the squirrel photos (seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how gorgeous the squirrel photos are). To Design, especially MH for disrupting a suite of sleeping girls in Hurlbut for a really good cause, and SS for eventually awaking to said disruption. To JGG for Friday night heroism. And to my running mate MVE for limping across the finish line with me this week — the Fifteenminutes Undergraduate Newspaper wouldn’t be nearly as FUN without you. :’) Sincerely, SSL & MVE