At this point, it feels like there’s only so much one can say about this epidemic of gun violence plaguing our country. So, instead, I’ll direct this to East High School students, current and former — to my peers. And in that vein, to all students who have feared for their lives within the confines of their school. The power and spirit that you hold in the heart of Denver is indomitable.
While I am undeniably elated by the news of Tagalog’s offering, I refuse to celebrate Harvard for a legacy it has yet to remake. Instead, I celebrate those who made this current moment possible — those who have been gradually drowning out Harvard’s systematic white noise by speaking alternate tongues of resistance all along.
Creativity is a fundamental part of being, and a crucial tool in understanding art, self, and environment. It’s ridiculous that Harvard almost entirely ignores it. As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” It’s about time we treated it like one.
There’s a certain shame in not working out as much as you used to, not being guaranteed a worked-up sweat everyday to make you feel good about yourself. In high school, physical exhaustion was a symbol of accomplishment, and aching muscles were a source of pride. A lot of us lack that now.
Harvard’s undergraduate programming focused on African government should not consist entirely of an afternoon chat between 10 students. The department should, at minimum, provide an unlimited enrollment, lecture-based survey course, lest budding Harvard scholars of government graduate without any knowledge of a region that grows more crucial to the global order each day.
As easy as it is to forget our natural curiosity, we would all do well to remember how excited we were at the very beginning of the semester — and try to the best of our ability to find that feeling again. We should take the hiatus of spring break as an opportunity to renew our academic energy. Maybe we can find the magic again.
Everyone’s on their own timeline. In fact, there is no timeline for finding a job after graduation beyond a stupid societal standard we’ve created. The assumption that you should know exactly what you want to do and where you want to be months before Commencement is an unrealistic expectation that only amplifies an already stressful time.
Housing Day is a venerated tradition — and one that entails a really fun morning. That won’t be the case for two of us this year, as we’ll be in class, taking midterm exams at 10:30 a.m. At Harvard, with its near-constant slog, why must we sit for exams on one of the singularly most fun days of the year?
Harvard needs to join in this fight. It’s time for a faculty resolution calling on TIAA to put an immediate moratorium on any new fossil fuel investments and to get out of the land grab business. We don’t need ‘cleaner options’ to let some people tidy up their portfolios and their consciences; we need comprehensive action now, on a scale commensurate with the crisis we face.
We can stop and say hello. We can look people in the eye with the same dignity and respect we afford our friends and professors. We can learn a name, maybe four. We can tell someone ours. Shake a hand, buy someone lunch, make a friend. Listen. We can see our unhoused neighbors as fellow human beings. It is literally the least we can do.
It is not a sign of weakness for Harvard to admit it has made the wrong call and join the side of progress, especially as the Harvard community pushes for change, year after year. It’s a shame it will have taken as long as it has, but the bigger shame would be continuing to prop up a family that has caused so much harm to so many.
Teaching students healthcare literacy, especially those whose financial constrictions severely limit their experience within the complex Harvard world, is essential to level the playing field and close the achievement gap between low-income and wealthy Harvard students. This includes ensuring that financial aid covers all forms of medical care — including dental care — that are necessary to fully focus on academics and reach the full potential that Harvard facilitates.
If the HUA cares about its only job, then it’s time to prove it by making a meaningful push for financial aid within student organizations. Club funding affects real people. When we pretend it doesn’t, we wind up with the completely inadequate and exclusive system we see today: Clubs for the rich, and jobs for everyone else.
By ignoring its institutional responsibility to address structural factors, the University sends a dangerous message: Our campus environment is destined to make students unhappy, and we should just plod onward by developing individual coping mechanisms. Worse still, a culture of cruel optimism blames students when those paltry solutions inevitably fail in the absence of meaningful change.
Progress in science is thought to be the slow retirement of the imagination. But science needs the imagination to see within and outside our reliance on scientific fact. If progress depends on imagination and materialism, science education should embolden the intuition and potential of each to see within “Worlds of Thought” to collaborate and contribute to knowledge.
The Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act has dipped its toes into the muddy waters of online data exposure. It protects very few. But we can start here at Harvard by making sure our privacy policies actually protect us. We can speak up and advocate for a federal privacy law that protects not just a few, but all.
Whenever I talk about my sometimes-beloved sometimes-hated home, it's always with an accent. But the Southern accent I use here in Cambridge isn’t “the accent.” I use my painstakingly-researched “neutral” accent. That isn’t “my accent.”
I will never fully understand why an institution like Harvard, so exclusive and inaccessible, continues to dominate global discussions surrounding equity and justice. But I do know that some pills are tough to swallow: in this case, that the oppressive structures we read about, write about, and criticize in our classrooms are the same ones that brought many of us to this campus.
Rather than this raising a question of whether Black immigrants are deserving of their hard-earned seats at these elite institutions (which is not even up for discussion), I wish to call on Harvard to recognize their failure at ensuring the representation of Generational African American descendants of slavery.
At Harvard, we are constantly prompted to make the most of our time here: chase every opportunity, travel, meet as many people as possible, engage with a neverending list of communities. As we endeavor to exhaust the possibilities that our four years in college present, we recraft our definitions of home and find our chosen families. Yet we often lose sight of the implicit tradeoffs we make with the worlds we leave behind.
For me, this means commemorating Fredrick Douglass’s Birthday, celebrating the interracial, queer love that created my family this Valentine’s Day, and always remembering how thankful I am for the Black leaders that fought for my ability to be where I am today. As for the rest of the month, let the love flow freely.