With the frigid temperatures making Shopping Week — I mean, the first week of classes — even less fun, classic fixtures of the Yard (re: dog-sized squirrels, most of the tourists, that one group of guys playing spikeball by Holworthy) have gone into hibernation, including our favorite source of controversy. No, not the foot or the hole in the ground, but the iconic, vibrant, exorbitantly-priced chairs.

The chairs were a 2009 addition from architect Fermob’s Luxembourg Collection. Although they’re priced at only $381 per chair (still a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a chair that could easily be replicated by Ikea), they must be purchased in pairs, bringing the sum to $700+ for just two.

While the chairs add a nice touch of modernity and a pop of color to Harvard’s traditional, old-white-man-with-a-white-colonial-wig, red-bricked undergraduate campus, here’s what else Harvard could have spent the $14,000+ on.


Besides maintaining the Ivy League aesthetic, why does Harvard still have blackboards? Are we still in the ’80s? I feel like I’m six years old again drawing chalk butterflies on the pavement. There’s nothing like leaving class with white, powdery stains on your black pants that you accidentally wiped your hands on. You don’t want people to think you’re coming from a final club.

Pest Control

With cockroaches abounding in Canaday and rats galore in Eliot House, Harvard housing could use some serious pest control to keep these uninvited critters from making themselves at home within our walls and munching on our socks and snacks. We already have two freshmen in a room meant to be a single, and now we have to add a third roommate?

A New Toaster for Annenberg

The ancient, industrial-looking contraption desperately needs an upgrade. It never fails to tack an extra five minutes onto my already rushed Annenberg breakfast routine as I wait for my multigrain toast to be ready. It achieves the bare minimum of toasting only one side at a time, and the left dial is always broken. The yummy Annenberg peanut butter I spread on it somewhat makes up for its turtle-like speed.

Electric Scooters for Everyone

While the athletes zoom around, the rest of the student body is relegated to peasants on foot. Yeah, I might not have practice across the river twice a day, but it would sure make waking up ten minutes before class a lot easier.

Abolish All Private Property. Redistribute!

If Harvard dropped roughly $14,000 on the chairs, each student could’ve received $2 instead. It might not cover my peppermint latte from Starbucks (rip), but, gosh, do I want my money. You could use it to cover one load of laundry in the washing machine, with an extra $0.50 left over to put towards the dryer fee!

Although the $700 chairs served as a great place to socialize at the beginning of the semester, perhaps Harvard will consider some of the above before investing in expensive outdoor furniture. And if not, I certainly will not be keeping a chair for ransom in my dorm.