Prayer for Hand Sanitizer (Even When it Stings)

By MEGAN SIMS Hallelujah for viscosity (amen to that). A toast to the ambiguity of states of matter and to the bubbles that manage to stay still even when the door slams. This is a celebration of your foremothers and their menstrual blood. This is relationship anarchy, and just plain anarchy. And paper cuts. You got them on a manifesto, reading by moonlight since it’s almost full and it wasn’t too cloudy. There’s no point trusting soap dispensers, everything is sticky and the little drop of blood is creeping toward the couch. You can’t stop watching it, seems like an …






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Campus Free Speech Zones

Why you (yes, you!) should care. By EMILY HALL Amid the ongoing turmoil regarding freedom of expression on college campuses, the issue of “free speech zones” has largely stayed out of the limelight, as debate focused on safe spaces and trigger warnings has flourished. However, the existence of free speech zones is troubling to many, who consider the Bill of Rights (or at least the First Amendment) to apply universally within United States borders, regardless of one’s location. Often found on college campuses, free speech zones can refer to both periods of time and physical spaces in which student expression …






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QSA: Failing with Allyship

New policy announcement sparks criticism. By HUNTER RICHARDS This past week, Harvard College Queer Students and Allies (QSA) met for elections and engaged in a conversation about the organization’s role in political issues. The discussion ended with a vote in favor of a new policy regarding QSA’s neutrality and decision to refrain from becoming a political organization, supported by 15 attendees.  On September 13, two days after the meeting, an email was sent across the listserv to explain the new policy: QSA should remain extremely committed to advocating for LGBTQ+ students on campus and LGBTQ+ issues in the world at …






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More Listening Than Talking

Getting to know Dean of Students Katherine O’Dair. By CAROLINE GENTILE As a nervous freshman at Miami University in the small town of Oxford, Ohio, Katie O’Dair had become accustomed to rejection. Her attempts to join the student council, the campus activities board, and an international ambassadors program had all been in vain. Though she recalls feeling “pretty down about it all”, she was thankful for the support she received from upperclassmen who encouraged her to keep seeking out opportunities to get involved, especially those about which she was truly passionate. Eventually, she found her place on campus, as a …






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Song and Soul

An interview with Claire Dickson ‘19. By AUDREY EFFENBERGER Claire Dickson ‘19 is a sophomore at Harvard College, and she’s also an amazing vocalist! She’s received many jazz awards and continues to perform in Cambridge and Boston. She will perform at the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub at 9pm on Thursday, Sept 22, 2016. We got a chance to speak with her about music, school, and life. Audrey Effenberger (AE): Let’s start with a basic question. How did you get started musically? Claire Dickson (CD): My dad is a musician, and music was always around the house. I’ve been singing ever …






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The OSL Calls it The “SOCK”

And other challenges presented at the Student Leaders Forum. By CAROLINE CRONIN At the beginning of term, student leaders of all recognized undergraduate organizations received multiple emails from soch (at) fas.harvard.edu regarding an upcoming Student Leaders Forum. It was made quite explicit in these emails that in order to receive funding, renew office or locker space, and register this year, each organization must send one representative to the Forum. This condition was stated before the allotted time of this Forum – which was 3 hours – on last Thursday and Monday nights. Therefore, when the kids who drew the short …






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An Idea Worth Spreading

The Harvard Independent interviews the brains behind TEDxHarvardCollege. By PULKIT AGARWAL Pulkit Agarwal (PA): So could you all start by telling us a little bit about the roles that you have played within the organization of TEDxHarvardCollege? Tony Thumpasery (TT): I’ve been involved with TEDx for the last 2 years, and although I joined as a junior member in 2015, I got to partake in the initial deliberations alongside Christian. I became a board member shortly after, and this year I am the President and Curator of TEDxHarvardCollege. Alexander Olapade (AO): So, as the Marketing Director for TEDxHarvardCollege, I am tasked …






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What I’m Not

Multiraciality in an increasingly mixed world. By AUDREY EFFENBERGER To be honest, I’m a bit late to the game on this. I don’t really keep up with sports in any capacity, aside from cheering for Team USA every four years. When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling instead of standing at attention for the national anthem, I didn’t hear about it through first- or secondhand sources – I got third-, fourth-, and probably fifth-hand interpretations of what he was (metaphorically) standing for, and what that meant about the state of America. There was the one headline phrase that stuck with me, however. …






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The Art of the Tailgate

How to host a top one! By THE SPORTS EDITORIAL BOARD Over the summer, The Independent’s Sports Editorial Board was informed of the results of a recent Megabus survey. Against all odds, Harvard emerged as the #1 tailgating destination in the Northeast (see attached graph). The Indy thus answers Megabus’ timeless question: How do you throw the best tailgate? Necessary 1. Alcohol It is to the tailgate as oxygen is to the astronaut, and as meteor-free skies were to the dinosaurs. The crucial importance of alcohol at a tailgate can be distilled thusly: so long as there is booze, so …






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He Dreams in Monotony

A short story. By ANONYMOUS The dream was always the same for him now: the idle purchase of some item one day would slowly multiply by crawling twos and fours into a weekly and then a daily ritual, inviolate as the surety of the lethal pull of gravity and the noose, steadily tightening its hold on the hapless dreamer whose purchases came to define and then consume him and fill his house, and then storage units and streets and eventually his town, his country, his continent, and the world itself in the multiplied vastness of an endless set of uniform …






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Safe Spaces on Campus

The debate continues in wake of UChicago announcement. By EMILY HALL The University of Chicago has recently caught public attention with its letter to freshmen denouncing safe spaces and promoting freedom of academic inquiry. Called insensitive by some, John (Jay) Ellison, the Dean of Students at the College of UChicago, sent out a letter to new freshmen, informing them that the College places great value on freedom of inquiry and expression in and out of the classroom. After congratulating them on their acceptance to the College at the University of Chicago, Ellison explains that the UChicago community is steeped in …






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Calling Together

Drew Faust’s somber Convocation words do not fail to inspire. By CAROLINE C. CRONIN On the day before classes began, Harvard University President Drew Faust spoke to the entire freshman class for the first time. As she addressed them at the Convocation ceremony, in which every Harvard student takes part and which mirrors the Commencement ceremony for graduating seniors, her words struck a more somber chord than in years past. The start of freshman year is filled with excitement and celebration at every college throughout the country, but this year at Harvard, it is tinged with a more contemplative sentiment. …






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