All I could think about, as I tried to fall asleep that terrifying night, is why we need a specialized rat liaison — not just the multipurpose tool of Yard Ops — here at Harvard. More than a sassy guide, we need a compassionate, human individual to guide us in our legitimate rat-inspired plight.
To call for accountability means to go beyond echoing the politically neutral call for free speech and ask ourselves difficult questions: In silencing Kenneth Roth, what was Harvard trying to shield its students from? And in reinstating his fellowship without addressing its own considerable bias, who does Harvard continue to silence?
I and many other optimistic pessimists set expectations very low, so as to be either prepared for the worst or pleasantly surprised by anything better. When you think about it, what could be a more optimistic outlook than that? The most powerful good-vibes shaman in the world could only dream of a set of outcomes so favorable.
Trigger warnings serve to protect the autonomy of students with histories of trauma. It would be a mistake to abandon them because of a few errant examples of overreach. We have to affirm a culture of reading and discussing difficult works, with trigger warnings serving as a tool for this end, rather than an obstacle.
Besides a number of health benefits, allowing passions that we may not have attained excellence in to hold importance in and remain an active part of our identities — like golf in my own life — is a powerful stance against a culture that is fixated on excellence. It is up to you to remember that you are more than your greatest talents and achievements: You are more than what you are good at.
My Jewish life on campus isn’t just the moments of impassioned spirituality, but also those of alienation. I would like to suggest that this idea bears greatly on religious students on this campus overall. Be proud of your faith. Talk about it, write about it, bring it up in class, because that might be what gets you through the next moment of religious isolation.
Our sense of entitlement, superiority, and ownership all rely on status gained from a single decision made by the Admissions Office. Is it truly reasonable to claim that acceptance to Harvard — a mark of “merit” steeped heavily in chance, privilege, and legacy status — effects such immediate and certain distinction? We’re not the only ones who can rightfully claim ownership.
The world is amazing, complicated, and messy. And by far the most amazing, most complicated, and messiest part of the world is people. We have spent thousands of years trying to understand what it means to be human. And the only way we can do that is to listen, and to understand what it’s like to be someone other than ourselves.
When so much of the country sees speaking Spanish as “un-American” and random Latines are yelled at for using their native language, it should come as no surprise that many parents decide not to teach their children to speak Spanish. The resulting “no sabo kids” certainly deserve Latinidad; we lost our language as a result of forced assimilation — a key part of the Latine experience.
Choosing Spirit has never been about flying in luxury — with reclinable seats, access to premium entertainment, and complimentary nuts — and we shouldn't judge it in those terms. Instead, it means valuing the destination more than the journey. It is about spending a few hours in an uncomfortable seat for the sake of spending time with friends and family.