By Ana Luiza Nicolae
On Thursday, September 27 and Monday, November 19 at 3pm, President Bacow held office hours to give students a chance to meet him. However, these opportunities to get to know our new president, unfortunately, were not taken advantage of by most students. And while this may have been because the announcement of these office hours were hidden under the Contact tab of the President’s Office official website.
But, if ever one does stumble upon the information, (whether it be) through relations of student groups, friends or even alumni, here is what one could expect. Delving through a crowd of visitors serenaded by Harvard tour guides with the tragic story of this oldest relic of Harvard’s beginning, Massachusetts’s Hall, one would make their way to the West entrance of the building starting at 1:30 PM. It is first come first serve after all. Inside a waiting room with beautiful carpets too often walked upon, no student could remain indifferent to the gentle character of the welcoming committee.
At the front desk, they would be asked to register, through their ID and that of any other affiliates joining them, and to describe the reason for their visit. Upon inscription, they would leave, only to come back before their allotted time, anxious for once about punctuality. Here, hands most certainly moist, students could not escape self-consciousness before Bacow’s brilliant Chief of Staff, Patti Bellinger, bearing a large, energetic, and intelligent smile. Led by Bellinger, previous Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership as well as previous Executive Director of Executive Education at Harvard Business School, the student would discover a moderate meeting room. Greeted by Bacow, they would take a seat at the wooden oval table, close to its head, where ‘’Larry’’ considers each student’s propositions.
Now how does the busiest man on campus divide his time between the sometimes frivolous, sometimes stern considerations of Harvard College students? These so called ‘’office hours’’ are in this case aptly named so. On both occasions, in September and November, Lawrence S. Bacow has dedicated exactly one hour to host students from all years. For all, save his few advisees living in Massachusetts’s Hall, the opportunity is phenomenal, yet rarely taken up. For efficiency’s sake, each student, or group of students, is allowed only ten minutes, in and out. However, as would experience any student visiting the President’s Office, embarking on such a strange journey as this seems to discard all conception of time. For determined students, the period seems to fly by, as they are promptly dismissed by the civility of President Bacow and Pati Bellinger, upon completion of the ten minutes. For more flexible ones, time seems to expand, as Bacow may share a personal anecdote and Bellinger some of her world-class advice. For those who wish to enact this experience truly, more office hours will be held in the coming semesters. As long as one doesn’t forget to check the Contact tab…
Ana Luiza Nicolae (firstname.lastname@example.org) looks forward to the next OH as hosted by the one and only President Bacow