Comp, a uniquely Harvard undertaking, fills a series of different roles for undergraduates seeking to join student groups on campus. It ensures that new members fit into the organization, indoctrinates them in the functions of the club, and teaches them new skills. Whether it’s over in a couple of weeks or fills up the entire semester, whether it’s a straightforward checklist or a highly challenging competition, comping is an investment of time, energy, and effort to demonstrate one’s willingness and ability to actively commit.
The ‘jock’ stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth for many athletes on campus. Some varsity athletes stay in on their Friday nights to do homework; others spend their free time watching movies or playing ping pong. Beyond athletic prowess, there is no common thread among Harvard athletes, who come in all shapes and sizes. The perception, more so than it is inaccurate, is damaging.