Crimson opinion writer
Jordan R. Robbins
More than most places, college campuses typically teem with alcohol and other illicit substances. And Ivy Leagues like Harvard are not the exception. Clandestine behavior nestles its way into our dorms and campuses. Students looking for a social lubricant over the weekend or a mental intoxicant after a day’s stress can find it at Harvard. But, this does not change the fact that even under the influence of simpler substances, students with histories of family dependency or addiction must rationalize their reluctance towards substance use, especially in social settings.
The loss of a loved one is unfathomable. It has the capacity to psychologically, socially, academically, and physically alter an individual. On campus, Harvard students without this traumatic grief must understand the irregular moments of sadness, anger, and numbness that students who have complex grief face.
From networking to forming new connections to making new friends to simply finding affinity groups and outlets for side-passions, studies show that social integration for FGLI students is difficult, which makes sense considering how interconnected finances and sociability can be. Since closeness arises somewhat out of a sense of shared experience, it is often harder for low-income students to feel like they can connect with a large portion of Harvard’s student body; a large portion of which does not necessarily share the same financial worry.
My health deserves to be a priority, not a privilege. When the medical bill is the same price as an airline ticket back to college, something is clearly off. No one should be priced out of their healthcare nor should they be forced to choose between necessities.
Harvard’s investment in private prisons is a willing denigration of its own core values, of supporting the flourishing of all members of the campus community, regardless of background, as well as addressing past inequities to create a strong foundation of inclusion.
Harvard is a different world. I am moving further away from my roots, supplanting myself in the University setting — a setting not understood by my family. I live with the appreciative understanding that I will have opportunities to explore places that my family was never able to, constantly juxtaposed with the “what-ifs” of where I would be if I would have picked up a trade or apprenticeship at home and how integral my family would be in that journey.
As students across the country prepare for competitive application processes for college admissions and scholarships, low-income students are taught to garner pity while richer students are taught to garner adulation. While the majority of Harvard students have the means to write about their prowess as a learner, others are more reliant on detailing their struggles as a means to boost their successes — often, it is what we are most equipped to use.
Marginal improvements to the eating experience aren’t worth embracing a business that, in its seeming pursuit of a utopian eating experience, puts being an employer last. Waiting in line for a meal (or better yet, calling ahead) isn’t that bad, but heralding the arrival of a Harvard Square business that, long term, will likely employ fewer people than nearly any other restaurant would, is.