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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Let’s Check Our Privilege

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL Acknowledge the immense indulgence that Harvard affords us already. Having multiple friends run for UC presidency comes with its perks (read: costs). Meals have lately been swamped with discourse concerning the UC’s precise place in the axis of student life. Of particular interest have been the initiatives that the UC can and should take place as a way of sustaining (or building) its relevance within the student community. Rabbits have been pulled out of magic hats; the most creative (and platform-worthy) projects have been strategized in the course of a single meal. But in the course of …

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Pussy Riot Fails to Riot

Some problems with the Russian activist band Pussy Riot talk at Harvard helps highlight loopholes in the much feted guerrilla movement that has taken the world by storm. I recently had the chance to explore perspectives on political activism when I won a ticket to see the members of the Pussy Riot at the Institute of Politics’ JFK Junior Forum. An all-girl punk rock protest group, the Pussy Riot is known for its bold public performances, most prominently the performance of Mother of God, Drive Putin Away at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February, 2012; the performance not …

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Leaning Away From ‘Lean-In’

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL A feminist’s musings. Recently, a Facebook event regarding a debate on the future of feminism between pro and anti Lean-In feminists trapped my particular attention. The cautious feminist that I am, this post precipitated in me an avalanche of self-introspection and much to my own surprise, my thoughts came in bearing heavily on the side of the Lean-In–resistant strain of feminism. To me, the Lean-In approach seemed to fail at achieving the fundamental goals of the feminist movement. For the uninformed, the “Lean-In” concept credits its origin to the book “Lean-In: Women, Work, and the Will to …

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Down With The Norms

Goldman Rightly Punished for WECode Support My Facebook feed was recently swamped by a sea of posts assailing a New York Times’ article that questioned the motivations behind Goldman Sachs handing out mirrors and nail files at WeCode (Women Engineers Code) Conference, 2014 organized at Harvard. The overarching argument that resonated across board focused on the NYT choice of highlighting seemingly insignificant details over the groundbreaking initiative itself that WeCode itself represented. To quote a Crimson article, NYT “ overlooked the company’s generosity and commitment to the noble goal of encouraging women in computer science.” The same editorial questioned the …

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Panem et Artem

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL Who needs the Arts anyway? …Or do we? Four months down, I still shudder every time an American pulls out the all-too-beaten card: How different is America from India? Harvard-tired as I often am, I deflect further probation with a superbly exuberant ‘It is just so different!’ with calculated crumbs of ‘culture shock’ and ‘extended adaptation’ dropped in for good measure. But human curiosity gets the better of even the best of us: following in rapid succession comes the elatedly chirped ‘Oh, how so?’ The yarn is let loose; as best as I try to keep my …

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A Mid-Semester Night’s Rave

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL A trip to the unexpectedly welcoming chaos of The Donkey Show. Saturday nights at Harvard comprise for me — as for many Haardvarks — a volatile mix of party hopping, gregarious revelry, and raucous debauchery. An awful sucker for traditions, I lived up this Saturday night in a similar fashion – except that I spent it wedged awkwardly between drunken fairies and horny donkeys, discovering a surreal theatre experience crafted by no less than a Tony Award-winning director herself. The Donkey Show, directed by Diane Paulus (also director of the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge), has been running …

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Grindin’ It Up

BY ADITYA AGRAWAL Making the case for your beloved dance form. It was in the damp, dark recesses of a Quincy suite that I was truly initiated to the US of A. Strobes flared, beats blared and hips swayed: to music — and to second person pelvic thrusts. Grinding, I was told, represented a fleeting cultural phenomenon of young America. For me, however, it has come to represent a material art form encapsulating the quintessence of the American spirit. Coming from a place as culturally straitjacketed as India, accepting the ‘dance form’ with all its subtle logistics was as much …

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