Engi-Queering: To Be SEAS but Not Heard 

By HUNTER RICHARDS    Engineering is hard. Struggling with your identity is hard. Navigating how you fit into the engineering community as a whole is hard. Not relating to the majority of your classmates, professors, or leaders in your field because you can’t find your background represented enough is hard. Trying to graduate with an engineering degree when you’ve spent years struggling to believe you can be an engineer is hard. And, honestly, it’s not getting any easier.  Although my mom always supported my interest in science and math growing up, I wasn’t shielded from those around me expressing their …

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Harvard and the Myth of Meritocracy 

How meritocracy operates as an attractive illusion in American culture.  By SEGAN HELLE    It was December 12, 2016, around three o’clock in the afternoon. I was sitting in my dad’s classroom – he was the only teacher for my high school’s Theory of Knowledge course – which was a requirement for me to earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma. We were in the middle of presentation season and one of my friends was just ending the introduction to her topic material when a notification popped up on my phone: “One new message, Harvard College Admissions Office.”  When I had learned …

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A Cup of Morning Joe

A town hall at IOP. By MALCOLM REID   For the first time, the Institute of Politics hosted a Harvard town hall this week, with our visiting fellows Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski (whose name gives my autocorrect an aneurysm). A brilliant idea on their part, this event allowed for students to converse with speakers in a way that few events thus far have. For this town hall, the issue was focused on student involvement in politics and public service. A most relevant topic indeed! The forum started with an intro from our moderator, the director of polling over at …

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Living Bi-Curiously Through Others 

Thoughts on Coming Out Day.   By HUNTER RICHARDS    There is an irony in Coming Out Day being within the same month as Halloween. Just when you start thinking about what costumes you could pull off, you’re reminded of the longest running character you pretended to be.   Pretending to be straight was the longest scam I’ve ever pulled. You would think coming out meant less time putting on the daily routine and pretending, but it takes much longer to unlearn what you’ve taught yourself.   I remember hearing that bisexuals were so lucky because they have twice as many options. I would argue …

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Always 

Some awkward coming out moments.  By ALAYA AYALA    The first time I came out of the closet, I tripped and landed on my face.   That moment has crystallized in my mind. I see it through cracked rose-colored glasses. Bittersweet and fragile, and hilarious for all the wrong reasons.  I came out for the first time to my friends. We were in tenth grade, and we were playing truth or dare during lunch because we were too cool and too lame to eat in the cafeteria downstairs. I’m assuming that whoever is reading this can already see how having a group …

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Cruella, Cruella DeVos? 

Thoughts on truth, discourse, and the Secretary of Education’s Harvard visit.   By MALCOLM REID  It comes as little secret that Secretary Betsy DeVos was coldly received at Harvard this past week, and that a sizable portion of Harvard’s population has dismissed Secretary DeVos as a “white supremacist.” But is this a fair assessment? Does she really go around making coats from the pelts of her victims, or is there more to the story?   The benefit of having had Secretary DeVos here, aside from learning from a prominent figure in education and government, is that those with a preconceived notion of her had an opportunity to hear from her first-hand as to where she stands. Hopefully, this article can shed …

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Is Senioritis Contagious, and Is That Why My Throat Is Sore? 

My Neck, My Back, My Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease.   By HUNTER RICHARDS  There’s nothing more disrespectful than being tested for the “Kissing Disease” when you haven’t kissed anyone in a while. Having my UHS doctor tell me that the likely culprit of my sore throat and headache lasting more than two weeks was mononucleosis hit me harder than any handful of ibuprofen I had begun regularly shoveling into my mouth could. The best ways to prevent yourself from getting mono are to get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and practice good hygiene. Ironically, this is the same list as the top …

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Proud to Be Pinoy 

Reflections on Filipino American History Month.  By SEGAN HELLE    “I don’t think that I’ve ever met a Filipino before.”  It was the first week of my freshman year. The chaos of move-in period had just begun to settle down and our parents had said their last goodbyes, leaving us in our room, sticky with the heat of a dying summer. My roommates and I were going through introductions, asking about each other’s backgrounds and sussing out who it was we would be living with for the next year.  “Well, I knew you were half some sort of Asian, but I wasn’t sure …

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Why Run if you Can Speed-Walk (or Shuttle)?

Seniors running for Class Marshal hope for their classmate’s votes while never fully explaining what a Class Marshal does. By HUNTER RICHARDS Having the Senior Class Marshal elections, complete with Facebook events pleading for your votes and texts from the kid in your freshman entryway guilt-reminding you of how they taught the whole floor how to do laundry in case you planned to ever repay them. One of the most surreal moments is when all the Senior-specific profile picture filters and posts you ignored last year now apply to you. That’s not about to stop you from filtering them out, …

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To Autumn

The equinox upon us. By CAROLINE CRONIN The 22nd of September this year marks the Autumnal Equinox. The equinox is the time at which the astronomical season of autumn begins. An astronomical season is defined and measured by the alignment of the stars and planets, and not – as in a meteorological season – by the average temperatures of given months.  Though we have been at our green ivy-covered college for almost a whole month, the beginning of the fall season is only now upon us (and that ivy will soon grow red). To be precise, the equinox names the …

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Engi-Queering: the SWUG Chronicles

Volume 1: S.O.S. (“Suffering of Seniors”) By HUNTER RICHARDS By senior year, I’m retired from my wild days. Or, more accurately, I’m just plain tired. I’ve finally grown into the title “SWUG,” or “Senior Washed-Up Girl,” and it fits better than the first pair of leggings I bought in college that convinced me to toss all my jeans out. Personally, I believe that “SWUG” is not fully inclusive. For starters, “Senior” implies that I haven’t been entirely done with this institution (both Harvard and the practices of “going to college” and “existing”) since I stepped foot onto campus during Opening …

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Dreaming of La Reunion

By MEGAN SIMS Last night I dreamt I drove to La Reunion,  a defunct socialist utopian colony on the Trinity River, which has always to me seemed less river, more repository, more gaping concrete scar across the city of Dallas. The bridges they build to cross the ugly thing are beautiful. I dreamed of traffic. I had to cross through people, rivers, columns of a place I knew for some might seem like La Reunion’s legacy. But I feared it. I was searching for the cemetery thinking there I might find the ghosts of past somebodies or the place I …

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Shana Tova

Religion among the intelligentsia. By ALAYA AYALA Picture this: You’re sitting in class discussing a novel that you were assigned to read. The conversation is going great, everyone is making great points, and the ideas are flowing. Then someone brings up the moral implications of the novel. Suddenly, the conversation isn’t going as well. Left and right, your peers are stating their opinions, starting off with “well, I’m not religious, but…” or “Well, I am religious, and…” There’s nothing wrong with what is being said, in fact, people are still making good points. The problem is the tension in the …

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All Time Phi-Low 

HBOCome and HBOGo!  By HUNTER RICHARDS    All good things must come to an end. Here I am pondering whether it was better to have HBOGo and lost, or to have never HBOGone at all. I know it’s not quite over yet but I know I’m not going to be ready September 15th when I lose you. Waiting until the first round of quizzes was truly a Phi-low blow. I never appreciated the queue of Game of Thrones episodes enough, or pretending that I cared about any other current TV shows besides Game of Thrones while scrolling through the web page after logging in.  I take back all the complaining …

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Successful Succession  

Goodbye, Drew! Hello ____!   By MEGAN SIMS    With the start of this school year came a big announcement: Drew Faust will step down as President of Harvard University. Faust’s reign, beginning in 2007, was marked by waves of student protest, social unrest, and massive change at the university. From Occupy Harvard to Divest protests to the imposition of sanctions of single gender social organizations, Faust’s presidency has certainly been eventful. Her imminent departure has sparked widespread speculation in regards to her successor. Who will rise to the (rather daunting) challenge of leading our beloved Harvard?    With a seat at the …

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