Harvard Struggles with Islamic and Middle Eastern Scholarship

Institutional centers and academic departments at the world’s richest university remain quiet. With all its capital, intellectual and physical, Harvard is not just a university. It is an idea, potent and exciting; a force, sharp and unforgiving, that alters civilizations and shapes dialogue. Islam and the Middle East does not seem to be among them. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), the premier research center on campus to support research and teaching on the Middle East, serves as an example. Established in 1954, the CMES was the first of its kind in the United States and is widely recognized as …






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Why Currier House Deleted its Housing Day Video 

The Full Story  Donald Trump may have won the Massachusetts Republican primary, but the real estate mogul and Apprentice star inspires little love at Harvard, as Currier House administrators learned the hard way this past week. Currier has found itself at the center of a free speech debate after it released a Housing Day video Sunday that featured a student impersonating Donald Trump.  The House decided to take down the video four days after it was uploaded, after House residents expressed concern with the video. Harvard’s twelve residential houses each release a House video in the lead up to the annual Housing Day when first year undergraduates are lotteried into …






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The Harvard Brand Matters

Reflections on my interview process.   If there’s anything I learned this internship interview season, it is that the Harvard brand matters. An increasingly vocal quarter of critics have called on high school students and parents nationwide to reconsider their collective craze over selective elite universities. They say liberal arts colleges or public universities can offer as fulfilling an education at a fraction of the price in an environment with a fraction of the anxiety. But in an economy underscored by economic anxiety, it is only natural for parents and students to weigh job prospects when choosing colleges. And when …






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Robin eats the Pudding

How the Ivy League dropout and famous actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt stripped, face burst balloons and won Harvard over.   It is not everyday that an actor of renown sucks a cow’s teats on stage. Even less often does the same actor publicly strip down to his skivvies. But these are just glimpses of what went down this past Saturday evening at the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ annual Man of the Year roast in Farkas Hall. Prominent actor and filmmaker Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in attendance as the Pudding’s 2016 Man of the Year. The Pudding’s Man of the Year is a nearly …






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 The Invisible Iranians 

In Iran the Baha’is wait for justice  As the world debates the Iran deal, Baha’is wait with bated breath. After decades of persecution by the Iranian state, the deal could be the harbinger of recognition and equal rights that the outlawed Persian community has long awaited. Stateside criticism of the recently brokered deal has focused on the deal’s blind spot to Iran’s underhanded terrorist pursuits. But much less criticism traces itself towards Iran’s muted terrorism against its own minority Baha’is. Members of the community, outlawed in the country since its inception in the mid 19th century, have found themselves at …






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Ex-Phoenix Alumnus on a Mission 

Dr. Tim McCarthy spills beans on club workings as he crusades against assault on campus.  The door to Tim McCarthy 93’s cloistered Quincy office proclaims itself, in rainbow colors, a “safe zone.” Yet, the man himself had long been a participant, a proponent, and a living emblem, in fact, of spaces that were anything but safe. And on a sunny September morning last Thursday, he had his personal reckoning: twenty-five years after graduation, McCarthy renounced his membership from the Phoenix S.K. Club in a widely publicized address delivered at Memorial Church. McCarthy was riven by the contradictions that had come …






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Harvard vs. Yale: A Comparison of Sexual Climates 

It is safe to assume that Harvard may not be the safest place for female and gender non-conforming undergraduates. 31.2% of female Harvard College seniors who took the sexual conduct survey this past spring reported having experienced some form of “nonconsensual sexual conduct,” including sexual touching, attempted penetrations, or completed penetrations. This was a good 4 percentage points higher than the national average of 27.2%. But just how bad is our performance from a comparative perspective? A comparison is in no way meant to condone our alarming numbers. Nothing ever qualifies sexual assault. But if anything, a comparison allows us …






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A Level Playing Ground

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL The Indy scopes out a new pre-orientation program for freshmen The Harvard Undergraduate Council announced a new ‘Harvard Project’ grant initiative that would award $3000 to a student-led project that proposes a solution to a campus problem. The Indy caught up with Savannah Fritz ‘17 who is one of the three finalists for the grant. Fritz has proposed the creation of the Freshman Enrichment Program, a pre-orientation program geared specifically towards incoming freshmen from under-resourced high schools. Both Yale and Princeton have already established versions of such a program on their respective campuses. The program seeks to …






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Who hosts Anti-Football Parties?

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL The Harvard Independent Profiles the Harvard Humanist Hub. A general wave of enthusiasm and anticipation greeted the Super Bowl this past Sunday; viewing parties across dorms and houses became the highlight of the day. Breaking this sacred circle of tradition, however, was an organization that few people at Harvard even knew existed: the Harvard Humanist Hub. It attracted much attention, as it did praise, censure and debate, with a dual Super Bowl and anti-Super Bowl party at its apartment Sunday evening. Housed at 45 JFK, the Humanist Hub has existed for over 40 years. The organization’s website …






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A Rhodes to Remember

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL Chatting with Rhodes winner and visionary computer scientist Ruth Fong ’15. The Rhodes Trust announced the 2014 Rhodes scholarship winners on Saturday, November 22. Three Harvard students made it to the list – Ben D. Sprung Keyser ’15 (Economics, Kirkland), Ruth Fong ’15 (Computer Science, Mather), and Fritzi Reuter ’14 (Economics, Lowell). The announcement, for me, was fraught with disappointments – chief amongst which were the inability of the quad to produce to a winner and the overshadowing of our own three victories by the filthy Eli’s six. However, as with all good things in life, there …






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Let’s Learn to Serve

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL The case for making public service a mandated requirement at Harvard. Cornell recently launched a $150 million initiative “Engaged Cornell” that will make it mandatory for undergraduates to take at least one course with a public service component. The announcement made waves on college campuses across America; Harvard wasn’t immune to its implications:while our own administration welcomed the idea of integrating academic coursework with public service, they came out against the idea of making it a compulsory requirement. As a liberal arts college in an increasingly utilitarian world, our administrators realize well the importance of a well-rounded education; …






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