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Volume XXXI, Issue X

Dear Reader, It was hard to picture the future when we moved off campus in the middle of March. But the future came anyway: It’s warm in the Northeast now, and sunlight hours stretch on into the evening. Classes have finished this week, and April is coming to an end too. And somehow, we are already publishing our final regular issue of the semester. This issue has dispatches from various places, real and virtual: OEGP reported on a group of Pfoho students who recreated their House on Minecraft. MVE talked to Kelsey Chen ’22, whose clothing company “Bodhi Parts” is redefining luxury fashion and donating profits to COVID-19 relief. JFA wrote about @they.them.their.closet, an Instagram-based thrifting venture founded by two students in Mather. OGO brings us to dance parties in Brookline, a Minecraft server, and her bedroom. And AKEC delves into her and others’ subconscious minds in her investigation of “quarantine dreams.” We also have some articles about research and projects going on back at Harvard: SPM and RC wrote about the controversy surrounding an article recently published by a Harvard Law School professor calling for a presumptive ban on homeschooling. SJL and SSL covered the History Department’s “Coronavirus Diaries” project, an attempt to document students’ experiences of this time for future historians. And KL and EDP talked to Vivian Shaw, a fellow in the Sociology Department, about the AAPI COVID-19 project, which is researching how COVID-19 is affecting Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander individuals and communities. Finally, this week’s cover story by PNW and SFE is about the market for educated egg and sperm donors. They dug beneath the often sensationalized depictions of this phenomenon to find human interactions as emotionally complex as any other, and talked to student-donors and parent-buyers — as well as the agencies that act as intermediaries between them — to paint an empathetic and nuanced picture of what happens when family building interacts with the free market. Lots of our favorite parts of May won’t be possible this year: hastily finishing papers before getting ready for formals, lazing by the river pretending to do schoolwork, and saying proper goodbyes for the summer. But at least one end-of-year tradition remains: FM’s Year in Review. We’re excited to bring it to you in a few weeks. Until then, NHP + AWDA


Volume XXXI, Issue IX

Dear reader, Wherever in the world you are, we at FM hope that our latest issue finds you healthy and safe. Quarantine continues — and so does the Quarantine Edition. Our writers have been hard at work again this week to keep you up to date on events at Harvard and across the country. ANW recalls another semester Harvard sent its students home early. GWO investigates the impact of campus’s closure on the many farmers who supply the Harvard University Dining Services. HRTW adapts to quarantine with youth fitness star Sami Kader. LRO and ACE speak with the experts on the recent nation-wide spike in gun sales. SII and SLL uncover CovEd, an organization started by a Harvard undergraduate to offer online tutoring services to younger students that has now gone national. MNW anchors this week’s issue with doggedly reported, masterfully rendered scrutiny on the University’s unique relationship with China: For decades, China needed Harvard’s talent and resources more than Harvard needed China’s. But in light of the country’s economic and political assent, the balance of the relationship has begun to shift, raising difficult questions about academic freedom and censorship. This long read investigation, the product of several months of research and reporting, is certainly not one you’ll want to miss! But of course that’s not all: SJL profiles celebrity defense attorney and HLS alumnus Alex Spiro, ACE details Harvard Square’s latest fixture, and HRTW crashes into life in the Radcliffe Quadrangle. Our dear friend AJS brings the issue to a thoughtful conclusion with an endpaper on her time working at one of the best donut shops in America. Nowhere to go? Perfect. Crack open our magazine and stay awhile. Yours, AWDA + NHP


Volume XXXI, Issue VII

Dear Reader, Spring has sprung — it’s been rainy in both our hometowns, and we’ve heard it’s also rainy on campus. We know that April showers bring May flowers; we’re hoping they might also bring a safe end to the pandemic. But until then, our staff is using all that time spent indoors to think — we have lots of personal essays for you this week. HRTW wrote about feeling helpless and isolated in the era of social distancing. JZL narrated her experience of quarantine at home the two weeks following her return from campus. MVE reflected on the ways her mother’s role as an infectious disease doctor is changing life at home. PGS analyzed power dynamics and violence in relationships depicted in pornography and relationships in real life. And MHM wrote our lovely and insightful endpaper this week, about how the way she’s thought about race has changed over time. We’ve also done some remote reporting on how the pandemic has affected Harvard and Cambridge. SSI interviewed the director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program about how COVID-19 has affected asylum seekers and those at risk of deportation. JZL investigated the closing of Somerville Hospital’s Emergency Department in the face of a mounting global medical emergency. KL and SMS profiled an expert in handwashing about what role she believes corporations play in fighting the pandemic. And SPM and JEG talked to admitted students about how they will make their college decisions now that they can’t attend welcome weekends. In our cover story for this week, MKT and GWO report on the choice between salary and safety that HUDS workers say they face as a result of Harvard’s paid time off policies. Since employees can only get paid time off through sick days, vacation days, and two weeks of “borrowed time” that they have to eventually pay back, many must choose between a paycheck and staying home to keep themselves and others safe. Finally, if all our hard-hitting reporting and all our feelings are getting to be too heavy for you, read our lone levity for this week: GWO and HRTW wrote about the crushing realization that their new proctors are their moms. Yours, AWDA & NHP


Volume XXXI, Issue VI

Dear Reader, Things are settling into a weird kind of normal. We on the mag are in places we never would have imagined we’d be a few weeks ago. But we’re figuring out how to keep going — how to meet and edit when we can’t gather physically, how to care for each other when we’re not on the same campus, how to report when we’re separated by hundreds of miles from the stories we’re trying to tell. We hope you’ve been able to figure out how to keep going, too. This week, we’ve brought you the scoop on the effect that COVID-19 has had on Harvard and Cambridge: JZL investigated the closing of Somerville Hospital’s Emergency Department in the face of a mounting global medical emergency. OGP and TS talked to professors about how they’re keeping students excited and engaged over Zoom. AKEC reported on what life is like for the few students who have remained on Harvard’s campus. ANW explored how the instructors of Economics 10 are changing their curriculum to reflect the unprecedented economic circumstances of the moment. And BFC talked to a Harvard scientist working research to find a coronavirus vaccine. We have some pieces if you want to get your mind off of coronavirus, too: HRTW and MFXE profiled Favia Dubyk ’08, a doctor and boulderer working to break down barriers to access to the outdoors for people of color. RC brainstormed ways for you to spend time with your newly long-distance significant other. And MGK penned a stunning endpaper for this week, about what “home” means as a military kid who moved frequently throughout her childhood and as a college student who recently had to move off campus. Our cover story this week is by my inimitable co-chair AWDA, who wrote about the role final clubs play in the competition for space in Harvard Square. Many final clubs receive tax exemptions because of their status as social clubs, granting them an advantage over small businesses and real estate firms alike in this competition. AWDA has reported on the dynamic that results with compassion, patience, precision, and unflagging diligence. Wherever in the world you are, we hope there is safety and warmth and something resembling normalcy. We don’t know where the world will be in a week — but know that we’ll be here. Yours until then, NHP


Volume XXXI, Issue V

Dearest Reader, In past issues, we’ve taken to filling this space with updates about the weather in Cambridge. Given the circumstances, though, that seems irrelevant and extraneous, perhaps even frivolous. But apparently there have been some sunny days this past week: Spring is on its way to Harvard Square, and we’ll treasure its arrival from afar. Wherever in the world you may be, we hope this issue of FM finds you healthy, safe, and adjusting to what seems to be the new normal — and please do pardon our frivolity. Much has changed quite fast. We, like so many others, were shocked by the University’s March 10 announcement moving classes online and ordering students to leave campus. As a magazine staffed entirely by undergraduates, FM’s operations, coverage, and production will inevitably have to change in these coming weeks. We pride ourselves on being not merely an outlet for some of the best journalism on Harvard’s campus but also a space where young writers can hone their voices amidst the guidance and encouragement of their peers and friends. Likewise, we know that many of our writers count on the income they receive for their work, especially now that so many campus jobs have disappeared. To uphold these standards, FM will continue its weekly production for the remainder of the semester, shifting our publication entirely online and expanding the scope of our coverage beyond Cambridge. We did not expect nor did we invite the challenge COVID-19 will pose to our magazine; nonetheless, we will try our hardest to keep doing what we do best in the face of it. Now perhaps more than ever, we believe it of particular importance to add a third dimension to our understanding of the news — to humanize the characters behind the facts and figures, to shed light on the threads neglected in daily coverage, to dive deep into the issues given superficial treatment in everyday discourse. With your support, we will continue to attempt to deliver this coverage — for the Harvard community and, now, for all of our communities. This week, SSL and MVE anchor our issue with a scrutiny on the history and future of Boston’s Chinatown. They report on how the physical space Chinatown occupies has become imbued with significance, allowing its influence to reach far beyond both its past and its physical borders. Gentrification threatens to uproot the foundations of the neighborhood — but longtime residents, business owners, and activists are fighting back. But that’s not all: GWO uncovers the unsavory history of the Harvard Law School Library’s Casperson Room, EDP profiles the first black woman to lead the Harvard Medical School’s student council, SSI explores the summer conference many high school students see as a path to Harvard College, and VEP makes her FM debut detailing the video game at the center of an international controversy now stored in a Harvard library. In the second installment of his column on gay male culture on and off campus, PGW writes an essay on violence and pornography, and AFRD closes out the issue with an endpaper on her experience living through a terrorist attack in Barcelona. Welcome, dear reader, to the Quarantine Edition of Fifteen Minutes Magazine. We hope you stick around for a while. Yours, Andrew W.D. Aoyama and Nina H. Pasquini Magazine Chairs of the 147th Guard Vivekae M. Kim Magazine Editor-at-Large of the 147th Guard Jane Z. Li, Maya H. McDougall, Malaika K. Tapper, Matteo N. Wong, Olivia G. Oldham, and Scott P. Mahon Associate Magazine Editors of the 147th Guard


Volume XXXI, Issue IV

Dearest Reader, When MKT first noticed Campus Reform's coverage of Harvard, she was surprised by its tenor, its tone: Many of the articles the conservative media outlet published centered on aspects of university life that her peers found, well, mostly normal. For this week's cover story, she dives into the alternate media reality sustained by Fox News and Campus Reform, exploring how and why it diverges from the reality most Harvard students know. And when those two realities come into conflict, rarely is it pretty. But that's not all you'll find in this issue: RLL profiles Changie Yuri, who is self-publishing a book of prose/poetry. SGL writes about the Harvard student who brought his mom to school with him — permanently. SDBB describes a musical instrument powered by fermenting vegetables. JZL gets to know Miss Chinatown USA. SSI explores a new payment method making its way through all your favorite Harvard Square shops. NBF demos what may well be the most expensive Gen Ed ever. KL visits the Boston Hassle Flea Market and takes in its "hardscrabble glory." Assuming you aren't "uncultured or a boomer," you'll love HTW's profile of viral Harvard TikTokker Joshua Chiang. And RC and SSL finish out the issue with two beautifully rendered endpapers. Read on, dear reader; we hope you love what you find! Yours, AWDA


Volume XXXI, Issue III

Dearest Reader, The weather this week was fairly standard for February, we think. Cold. In 2008, Eben Alexander, a former associate professor at Harvard Medical School, entered a coma that would change his life forever. Unconscious for seven days, Alexander claims that he visited heaven, and in the years since, he has become a spiritualist author and speaker. For this week's cover story, JEI and REJC profile Alexander with empathy and nuance, exploring how he fits into the complicated space between religion and science. But that's not all: This week's issue has bikes, polls, potions, noses, beasts, and dim sum. What more could you want for a chilly weekend like this? Yours, AWDA + NHP


Volume XXXI, Issue II

Dear Reader, It is mid-February, which means love is in the air. No matter your Valentine's Day plans, make sure to take some time to read FM's 2020 "Contemporary Romance" feature. RLL explores her love of the beloved food chain Waffle House. AKEC writes about the challenge of showing and accepting gestures of physical affection. And I grapple with my younger sister growing up. We also have a great mix of hard-hitting reporting and humorous takes to keep you entertained before your (romantic) evening. SSL spends an afternoon honing her thrusts and parries at a sword fighting workshop for women. MVE witnesses some incredible staff art at the Smith Campus Center. I profile Suraj Yengde, an inspiring Dalit intellectual and activist. And APK answers a question that has long stumped FM writers: What are sports? In our cover story for this week, MHM and GWO write about the history and the future of the artifacts of the Harvard Peabody Museum, parsing the museum's responsibility to repatriate and exhibit objects whose presence in their collection is inextricable from colonialism. We end with KKC's lovely endpaper, which turns the scrumptious process of gnawing on chicken feet into a thoughtful investigation of the difficulties of pinpointing "Chinese-America." Curious? Dare I say, titillated? Begin a life-long affair with FM, and read on! MNW


15 Most Interesting Seniors

Is "most interesting" a subjective title? Of course. Are these 15 seniors still very interesting? Certainly! We sent our writers to hang out with them in their favorite places on campus and glean a bit of wisdom from them before they graduate. Now, we hope you'll take time to get to know them too.