Crimson opinion writer
Adam V. Aleksic
This column has been about considering the unseen, about looking at what usually goes overlooked in front of us and defending it when others don’t see it. When the Kirkland House basement is eventually remodeled, preserving small imperfections such as the textured walls and upside-down map is crucial for recapturing the quirky, cozy atmosphere it has today, and maintaining artifacts like the murals and library is essential for continuing our connection to the past.
There is a recurring pattern of groups emerging for the purpose of exploring the underground. All of these societies are drawn to the tunnels despite real danger. Nevertheless, new disciples keep appearing, often exercising an almost religious reverence for the exploration of the unknown. They are the worshippers and the tunnels are their gods.
We forget that they’re not just “the tunnels” — they’re HUDS tunnels. We should also strive to better understand them and thoughtfully consider who and what goes unseen in the unseen. Every underground space at Harvard exists for a reason, and re-evaluating our relationships with those spaces is an important step to treating service workers with the respect they deserve.
The six-minute subway ride between Harvard and Central Square isn’t the most entertaining journey. But if passengers were to squint out the window as the Red Line rounded the curve out of Harvard Station, they could see the abandoned shell of another station briefly appear.
Beginning the story of Harvard’s tunnels with Radcliffe and the Quad paints a much more nuanced picture of our history. By recognizing the ways in which the Quad is still separate from the main campus, we learn the troubled aspects of our history and enable ourselves to reckon with the past more authentically and rigorously. Students should know why their heat comes from different sources, just as they should be aware of the history of discrimination surrounding the Quad.
The deceptively humble corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Linden Street is a nexus, a point of convergence and emergence — both on the street and below it. People and automobiles mirror the underground traffic traveling through the infrastructure that supports them.