FM Staff

Latest Content

Volume XXXII, Issue IV

Dear Reader, As we march (ha!) towards warmer weather, our intrepid FM writers continue to probe the unknown, the complex, and the deceptively small. We are particularly excited to welcome our compers — for the unacquainted, those in the process of joining Fifteen Minutes — in their first contributions to the magazine. They blew us away this week, and we’re so excited to have them aboard. As ever, our writers composed stunning introspective self portraits. Quite literally, TMB published a photographed self-portrait as a part of our new ‘Vision’ category. SNT wrote about self-image in ballet in the second installment of her column on imposter syndrome, and VX imparted new meaning on League of Legends as a tool for connection. This week, our reported pieces stayed very, very local. OEGP and HNL explored the 1976 murder of a Harvard football player that changed Boston’s landscape forever, diving into why Harvard students rarely hear this fraught story. KNF attended an event on the future of museums — and Harvard’s Peabody in particular — as they attempt to reckon with their colonial pasts. EMB and KIX talk to Eric Feigl-Ding a year after his controversial pandemic prediction seems prophetic. Finally, VX and SM take a look at Toppings, a start-up by Harvard students that could change the future of food delivery in Cambridge and beyond. Most centrally located, however, is our cover story on the residents of Allston. MSA and IBC offer a portrait of a neighborhood in flux, where residents have been fighting to maintain their home and community since 1960. In a neighborhood defined by a flourishing artistic community and affordable housing prices, the development of Harvard’s Allston engineering campus often seems at odds with the neighborhood’s interests. To Harvard students, the expanse of the Charles cuts off communication between Cambridge and Allston — this piece attempts to close that gap, and have Allstonians speak for themselves. With love, OGO & MNW

Volume XXXII, Issue III

Dear reader, To close out a short but tumultuous month, this week we bring you a small but mighty issue, one that will keep you glued to your screen, spark arguments with friends, and make your head spin and heart wrench. This is not an issue to snuggle up to — it is one that will force you to straighten your posture and engage. We are excited to present a second new content category, the “Inquiry,” which will feature cultural criticism and reported essays to provide thought-provoking and incisive commentary on topics including, but certainly not limited to, Harvard phenomena, national politics, and social media trends. This week, we have three: SNT brings a critical eye to the ways in which some undergraduates toss around the phrase “impostor syndrome,” blurring the lines between humility, self-deprecation, and ingratiation. MX juxtaposes the #BaylorDunkForTuition, in which students are offered free tuition in exchange for an excellent basketball trickshot, with the tuition strike at Columbia. And ZBRG outlines the surprising, and perhaps troubling, link between “The Bachelor” and Christian morals. In this week’s cover story, REJC and GJP offer a gripping account of the journey of Doris E. Reina-Landaverde, a Harvard custodian and activist who, in her cross-sectional organizing, makes Harvard presidents “cringe” at the sight of her. The scrutiny is a must-read, intimate look into what drives perseverance and the core mechanisms — including, largely, solidarity — that bring success to grassroots movements. And to close, we have two moving endpapers. CAC combines lucid prose and sharp criticism in telling the story of the pandemic and her eating disorder, a personal essay that will leave you both shaken and empowered. And TMB gives a gorgeous view into her love of film photography, relating her passion to a complicated negotiation with an evolving technological society. As always, take care. Until next week, MNW+OGO

Volume XXXII, Issue II

Dear Reader, Happy Year of the Metal Ox! This week we bring to you a stunning collection of reported pieces, personal essays, and art. That’s right, we’re thrilled to announce three inaugural works in the new “Vision” content category, which will feature poetry, short fiction, visual art of all kinds, and more. Stay tuned for more in future issues. For everyone separated from Cambridge but interested in what’s going on, SWF reports on-the-scene from two new restaurants in the Square, one fully automated and one hyper-local, and finds surprising similarities between their approaches. A little further away from campus, in Boston, MVE brings you alongside her in a beautifully written piece as she experiences a guided walking play through the city. Meanwhile, FJB attends “Coleslaw’s Corner,” a digital event in which the Drag queen Coleslaw has science-related conversations — in this case, for Valentine’s day, about aphrodisiacs. And in the alumni world: SPM interviews a recent graduate who is helping turn the Cleveland Browns around through sports statistics, and SSI and JSA profile sujatha baliga, who has dedicated her life to restorative justice practices and community healing. AVM rounds out this week’s content with a moving endpaper, meditating on linguistic and cultural gaps and how performance can help bridge them. In the Vision category, we have two lovely illustrations from VX that explore form and color through natural imagery, as well as a Lunar New Year-themed design from TRM. Anchoring the issue is RLL’s thorough, thoughtful, and necessary deep dive into the nine year organizing of Our Harvard Can Do Better, a group working to support and improve resources for survivors of sexual assault on campus and dismantle rape culture. We learn about the complex negotiation between personal interpretations of justice and more general mediation structures, the promise and pitfalls of institutional responses like Title IX — as well as more spontaneous and disorganized ones, like social media — and the incredible amount of labor student activists have put into this fight for years. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Harvard, Title IX, and how the world is moving forward in its reckoning with sexual harassment and assault both on college campuses and at large. Take this weekend to jump into these stories — some you can snuggle up to, and some will make you sit a bit straighter. Until next time, and with love, OGO+MNW

Volume XXXII, Issue I

Dear Reader, Welcome to the new regime! We’re thrilled to have you. We promise sparkling new content and intrepid reporting; we continue to hope and pray for an issues tab on our website, just as our forebearers did. And we are quite excited about this first issue. We’ve got FYH diving deep into the phenomenon of ‘ghost kitchens’ as a possible salve for the restaurant industry’s pandemic struggles. CHG gets the scoop on Professor Ed Glaeser’s predictions for post-pandemic cities — while also highlighting some excellent bowties. The future of love lies in TCK’s hands as she investigates the Aphrodite Project, an algorithm-based matching service for local college kids. DCB looked into Active Minds, a new mental health group filling the gap left by the temporary disbandment of peer mental health groups. The cancellation of a popular introductory Education course prompted some questions, and SSL and FJB provide some complex answers. In the inaugural article of our ‘Inquiry’ content category — a new space to provide culture commentary — GRO explores a rift over ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flags in her hometown of Weymouth, Mass. And in his Endpaper this week, SDC poignantly details the realities of grieving during the pandemic. At the heart of this week’s issue is the story of how the Federalist Society, born out of Harvard Law School in the 1980s, grew to transform the conservative landscape of American politics. MKT digs deep into the crucible of the group — a rejection of the popularity of leftist ‘Critical Legal Studies’ at the time — and how the group’s rhetoric of persecution has taken lingered in the decades since. We hope you enjoy our very first issue as much as we did. With love, OGO & MNW

Volume XXXI, Issue XX

Dear reader, At the end of each year, FM typically publishes a feature called “15 Most Interesting Seniors.” It’s always felt silly for the editors of a magazine to be the judges of who is “most interesting,” but it felt especially silly to do this in 2020, when a pandemic has spread us all across the world, far away from our campus and its definition of “interesting.” So this year, we decided to switch things up. We generated 15 seniors at random and profiled them — learning about their circumstances and exploring how the pandemic has impacted their lives. In the process, we wrote about seniors who are enrolled in classes and taking time off, who spent the semester on campus and abroad, who are interning and caring for their families. We hope that we’ve painted a portrait of the Class of 2021 as it is — scattered, tired, overwhelmed, and a little hopeful, too. We didn’t intend or expect that this feature would feel celebratory, as has often been the case in the past. In a year so defined by distance, disease, and death, that tone felt, well, at least little inappropriate. But even amid accounts of loss and hardship, our writers found so many things to celebrate — a pitcher on the varsity baseball team getting to play catch each afternoon with his dad, a pair of high school sweethearts taking their cat for walks, an aspiring surgeon caring for nearly 100 small fish. We hope you’ll take some time to get to know the seniors who took some time to let us into their worlds. This issue also inaugurates FM’s first “Illustrated Magazine.” It’s a tradition we hope continues, because wow are our illustrators talented. Marvel at their work as you read beautiful reflections on gaps and how we fill them from JZL, MVE, RLL, JEG, FYH, and SPM. And of course you won’t want to miss goodbye endpapers from the talented AAC and SSAY. What a year it’s been. When we took over as editors of this magazine, we imagined our biggest problems would be exhausted Wednesday mornings in John Boonstra’s HL90 or frustrated Thursday evenings when C’est Bon ran out of non-variety pack Angry Orchard Rosé. Needless to say, things went differently than expected. But seeing our editors and writers come together week after week to keep our magazine chugging along — that’s been a greater joy than we could have ever imagined, too. We can’t wait to see where FM goes under the leadership OGO and MNW. Thanks for faithfully reading — we hope you’ve enjoyed reading our increasingly unhinged closeout notes as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them. Yours, AWDA & NHP

Volume XXXI, Issue XIX

Hey there reader, We know what you’re thinking — “Another issue? These days? In this economy?!” Yeah — we get it. We’re almost done. Anyway, lots of great pieces this week: CHG profiles the first-year who, after receiving a free bulk order of Trojan Condoms, bagged rubbers and candy and distributed them to their fellow freshmen in a socially distanced trick-or-treat-meets-college-campus. TMB “visits” the Passim School of Music, which currently offers folk music classes over Zoom. MMA and AVM talk to the doctor behind the study that found an increased rate of heart attacks following the 2016 election — if you’ve been feeling a little tense these last few weeks. TCK tries out the Novel Kitchen, a “novel” restaurant with a no-cook kitchen operating out of the Brookline Booksmith. SWF and JCDQ tell of the rise of the Harvard Undergraduate Poker Club. AJT rides along with “The Engine,” an MIT-led venture firm that recently won investment from the Harvard Corporation. Vroom vroom! And FJB tells the story of Harold L. Humes, or “Doc,” a troubled fixture of Harvard Square life in the seventies and eighties. You certainly won’t want to miss this week’s two cover stories. In “Beyond the Classroom, Lurking Fears and Conflicting Truths,” MSA gets the inside scoop on how reopening Cambridge’s schools has challenged the district’s commitment to “equity and access,” leaving many parents worried that those at the greatest risk may ultimately have the least say in the process. And in “Ninety-Six Hours in November,” six writers narrate their experiences across the country on election day and throughout the days that followed. FM will take a break these next few weeks to prepare for our final issue of the semester. Until then, stay well. Yours, AWDA + NHP

Volume XXXI, Issue XVIII

Dear Reader, It’s morning at The Crimson again. More good stories this week. NBF questions whether psychedelics can save America (answer: maybe?). SNT and MMFW speak with the scientists destabilizing the centrality of sex/gender in COVID-19 data. TMB and MX explore the effort to ban teargas in Cambridge. AVM profiles the GSD professor with a simple idea that could save the world. Her idea? Trees — which, ironically, are also the focus of MP and SWT’s piece on a creative new freshman seminar. RLL meets the students visualizing social justice, in Harvard spaces and across the country. AMC talks to popular statistics professor Joe Blitzstein. KL and GRO recount a friend’s bizarre experience trapped in an elevator. And EKJ closes the issue with a thoughtful reflection on how we discuss mental illness. In this week’s cover story, MNW and SSL investigate the chaotic process by which Harvard reopened for its fall semester. Meticulously reported over the course of several months, their scrutiny exposes the gap that emerged between rhetoric and reality and tells the stories of the workers who slipped through its cracks. This is a story you won’t want to miss. Four more years of FM. Yours, AWDA + NHP

Volume XXXI, Issue XVII

Dear Reader, Hey there! It’s us, shouting into the void once again. One day, they’ll fix the “Issues” button on the website and someone will actually be able to read these. What a glorious day that will be! Until then, let these notes serve as an unexamined testament to our gradual descent in madness — the perfect fodder for a final paper for an HL90 on the pandemic, perhaps. Anyway, some good pieces this week: GWO and AVM uncover the spooky spider web of special interests behind a website providing tips for COVID-safe trick-or-treating. CHG and TCK profile the founder of an anti-cyberbullying keyboard app. VX does comics — but over Zoom. SSI indicts the sketchy science behind the Great Barrington Declaration. GJP spoke with local business owners hoping to push the holiday shopping season earlier. And SWF and JCDQ reveal the strange history of the bust of W.E.B. Du Bois JZL and MVE anchor our issue with a doggedly-reported scrutiny on the changing dynamics of undergraduate life. This semester, students are living off campus at rates unseen in decades — revealing a host of challenges and inequalities typically shielded from view by the “Harvard bubble.” And of course it’s happening against the backdrop of one of the largest eviction crises in recent memory. Harvard students aren’t just moving in — they’re forcing some people out. Yours, AWDA + NHP

Volume XXXI, Issue XVI

Dearest reader, Producing this issue has fostered some long-due personal growth: We defined the contours of the “millennial aesthetic color pallet,” sampled takeout from “Thai Hut Restaurant,” and finally learned how to spell “a cappella.” The virtual college experience continues to be transformative, I guess. Of course, we also published some stellar content. MVE and AJT profile the UnLonely Project. GRO takes FM’s annual trip to Salem. MMFW and SF meet the creatrixes behind the anticapitalist, employee-owned pottery shop on Mass. Ave. GJP discusses Chicago Youth Poet Laureate Penelope Alegria’s new chapbook. KKC reflects on why Harvard students grow up so fast. AMC explores the allure of productivity YouTube videos. JL and JCA investigate the fraught dynamics behind the Harvard Republican Club’s decision to endorse Trump. And in this week’s endpaper, EKJ tells the story of her choice to stand up for her mother. KL and OGO anchor this week’s issue with their scrutiny on Harvard’s curious post-graduate employment landscape. Harvard, they write, makes its students an implicit promise: The University can give them both a liberal arts education and a high-paying job when they graduate. But that promise has never been equally accessible to everyone — and the pandemic has only served to exacerbate its inequalities. The year is rapidly coming to a close — but FM still has plenty of surprises in store. Yours, AWDA + NHP