November 4, 2021

Volume XXXII, Issue XVII

Editor's Note

Dear reader, This week, with a full slate of stories, let’s begin at the (chronological) beginning: Four retrospections that, in fact, question what the beginning, the end, or the “ends” mean. First, KNF goes back to the turn of the 20th century and tells us about how Harvard and U.S. imperialism in Latin America intersected in the Cuban Summer School, a program run at Harvard to “educate,” i.e. “modernize,” i.e. “Americanize” (and all the colonial underpinnings of those words) Cuban teachers. Then, jumping forward to 1921, exactly a century ago, TS and NLO (with some help from MX) recount the beginnings of the desegregation of Harvard dormitories, which finally happened in a spring 1923 decision. Moving forward five decades to 1970, SSL (clarification: not our exec) and JSN recount the three-year struggle to make Harvard’s band co-educational. Finally, bringing us close to the present, AMB and KT offer a different story about Derrick Bell, one of the founders of Critical Race Theory — the story of how he refused to teach at, and eventually left, HLS because the school had no tenured Black women on its faculty in the early 1990s. And, surprise — another somewhat retrospective piece brings us to 2021. WSH talks to members of the ​​Student Astronomers at Harvard-Radcliffe and looks at the logbooks students sign to use Harvard’s observatory, which stretch from the 70s, to painful and reflective notes from before the pandemic forced us off campus, and into the present. Rooted firmly in 2021 we have KLS and PSR reporting on the providing of free laundry in Cambridge public schools; and SSL (again, not the exec) reporting on the recently-reopened and freshly-renovated Houghton Library. There are nearly as many levities as retrospections: JFA tells you how to behave, and how not to, in a Harvard situationship; IW pokes some fun at the Adams fruit fly infestation; AHL describes Lamont as an MTV crib; and SWF tells/reports a true, hilarious, and terrifying ghost story about the Kirkland library. Finally, grounding the issue is this week’s thorough and incisive scrutiny, from KL and AKL, on a problem of national scale and life-or-death consequences — the opioid overdose crisis — in Cambridge and around Harvard. They probe different approaches to resolving this crisis, ranging from medical, to public health, to infrastructure, and more, as well as the different actors and segments of society, the University included, that need to work in concert to bring this crisis to an end. You will come away with a deeper knowledge of the crisis and a fuller understanding of the enormous task ahead of us in solving it. And, as is customary, the weather — enjoy the last few days of meager warmth before the Cambridge winter sets in, but make sure that, outdoors or inside, you have this, our second-to-last regular issue of the semester, open in your browser! With love, MNW & OGO