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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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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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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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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Open Harvard College Grant

The UC unveils $30K fund. A $30,000 fund has been allocated by the Dean of the College, the Office of Student Life, and Harvard’s Undergraduate Council to support initiatives addressing the compelling issues of 2016. Initiatives that address mental health, sexual assault and harassment prevention, race relations, and inclusive social life are eligible to apply for a portion of the $30k “Open Harvard College” grant. The Harvard Independent spoke with William Greenlaw ‘17, writer of the grant. Out of hopes to address the issues prevalent to student life on Harvard’s Campus, the Undergraduate Council has revamped a fund previously underutilized. …






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More Than a Moment

The 2016 1vyG Conference makes lasting changes. Being the first in your family to go to college can be difficult, let alone when that college is Harvard. Over 350 first generation college students from the Ivy League and other top-ranked universities joined together on Harvard’s campus last weekend for the second annual 1vyG conference to discuss their first gen experiences. Organized by the Harvard First Generation Student Union and a board of current first generation students at Harvard, 1vyG was able to spark conversations about the various first gen experiences on college campus and how universities can be better at …






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House Master is Now ‘Dean’

Official change is announced. Harvard students, professors and alumni alike have been well aware of the ongoing discussions on the title of “House Master”. The title has historically been used to identify and differentiate the individual college residential house leaders from other faculty members. This past December of 2015, the current house leaders came forward unanimously to state that they desired a change to their title. Specifically, the dean of the college, Rakesh Khurana sent an email to the students announcing that, “House Masters have unanimously expressed desire to change their title,” on December 1. That statement sparked a multitude …






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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 Crimson Elephant

A Harvard Republican’s opinion on the splintered state of the party. In light of the recent Iowa Caucus, the 2016 Presidential election seems to have captured every political junkie’s imagination. In order to get a Republican’s view on the issue, and in particular on the seemingly fractured state of their party’s presidential field, Forum Writer Daniel Um ‘19 interviews Wyatt Hayden ’19, a Harvard Republican.  DU: How does this Republican race differ from that of previous years? WH: This one’s obviously a lot different because the main candidate is not an establishment Republican; of course, Donald trump is just a …






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A heArtLifting Story

An interview with Liz Powers ‘10, co-founder of ArtLifting. Homelessness is not a very happy subject. The reality is that over seven thousand people in Boston – one in a hundred of the city’s population – lack stable housing and live in shelters or on the streets, according to the Boston Public Health Commission’s Annual Homeless Census. And that number is rising. From 2014 to 2015, the homeless population rose by five percent. In that same time, the number of families experiencing homelessness increased by 25%. These, and other sobering statistics, illustrate the depressing realities of the problem. However, there …






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Women Inspired to Change Harvard write Letter to Justin Bieber

Note: an update to this article has been published on the Indy website here. Today is a breakthrough day for Bieber fans (Beliebers) who have recently found themselves conflicted by their inability to play any other music than the new Bieber album, which is breaking records, and a general distaste for Bieber’s egregious persona. About two weeks ago, Women Inspired to Change Harvard wrote a letter to Justin Bieber to illuminate to him that we see his video for “What Do You Mean” as not only horribly offensive to women in general, but specifically, encouraging the rape culture that allows …






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