Many able-bodied students are accustomed to frustrating experiences when navigating the HKS bureaucracy on issues ranging from financial aid to course registration. For students with disabilities, however, these inconveniences evolve into recurring headaches that impair their ability to thrive academically and socially.
While there are certainly some behaviors and attitudes that should not be sanctioned under the pretext of predisposition, I think the luxury of living in such a diverse world is that we can choose our own friends and associates: those with whom we feel most compatible.
With this most recent display proving to be one of performativity rather than progress, the ensuing lack of dialogue exposed an alarming lack of compassion, and this kind of neglect poses a serious threat.
We deserve a student government that effectively serves us and delivers on the resources we contribute to it. We deserve a social scene that everyone can find a space in, a say in how our money gets spent, and to be well-represented with Harvard’s administration. Given the UC’s failure to meet these standards, I say it’s high time we engage in a proud Boston tradition: revolution.
As a Dominican student at Harvard, I am disappointed that Las Palmas does not seem willing to run the risk of offering authentic food that would perhaps be rejected by many on Harvard’s campus on account of being too foreign, although I am not particularly surprised.
To begin eroding the spirit’s control, we students must begin by choosing not to work, at times. If you’ve made it here, you have the work ethic and study habits necessary to succeed and find some rest in-between, even if that means you don’t end up valedictorian. Just do you. And rest too.
Hurtful, noxious rhetoric is a legitimate, frightening reality, and I have no intention of downplaying the difficulty and near-impossibility of giving grace to those who peddle dehumanizing ideologies, especially when those hateful perspectives target us or our communities. Nonetheless, it is critical that we resist the urge to flatten the diversity of opinion among conservatives to the most vocal, radical, spiteful individuals on the fringes of society.
In many ways, I understand — and perhaps reinforce — this power. As we share reflections in my freshman seminar on mental illness, I appreciate the personal encounters that drove each of us to this space. In conversations on health policy, I prioritize voices that have lost loved ones to the disparities we speak of in theory. I love the friends I’ve made over dissecting problem sets and deconstructing problematic institutions.
On the whole, we have failed to consider body positivity as both a mental and physical action-related mindset. The media has long promoted bodies that are too thin, and as we reshape our own attitude toward our own health, we must consider all angles and components of a movement that first began as a husband’s mission to help his wife.
Though our time at Harvard is limited, as undergraduates we have the power to enact sweeping change in an otherwise slow-moving institution. To do so is not an easy task and without our community's trust and active participation, the Undergraduate Council cannot progress toward a collective vision of the campus and society we deserve.
Being at Harvard has taught us both many lessons on how to be, think, and act. One of Harvard’s lessons that we refuse to learn, however, is how to shirk our responsibilities to one another. Instead, we beg you all to think differently, to toss post-pandemic amnesia aside, and to take up the call of public service.
Tools like Pol.is are changing what’s possible for democracies. We shouldn’t shy away from experiments: It was just 80 years ago that the world boasted fewer than 10 democracies. We are positive that the College is capable of more cooperation and better governance than the dreary state of the UC suggests.
Some firehosing is useful to build the skills necessary to eventually do real work or research. It will occasionally be necessary to use a result we can’t prove or quote a passage we don’t fully understand. But we can plan our commitments at Harvard so we only have to do so rarely. And at the very least, we should feel a little guilty whenever we do.