Crimson opinion writer

Tommy Barone

Latest Content

Protesters Project Pro-Palestine Messages on University Hall Facade
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Harvard’s Pro-Palestine Protesters Have to Stop Weakening Their Cause

I believe Israel is committing atrocious war crimes in Gaza, but the pro-Palestine coalition has managed to make itself so incredibly difficult to support.

Speech Distinctions


Dissent: With Pass-Fail Policy, the FAS Would Make Grades Even More Meaningless

Grade inflation and compression, worse with every passing year, pose a serious threat to the health of Harvard. The last thing the FAS should do now is give students another out.


Dissent: Abolish Advanced Placement

Sure, the Advanced Placement program provides a standard. But a bad standard is worse than none at all. We should abolish it.


Dissent: Departmental Restructuring Won’t Save — or Kill — the Humanities

Convinced that the longevity of Harvard humanities must take precedence over the longevity of its present departmental form, we hope the FAS does not allow questions of structure to elide more fundamental questions of substance.


Dissent: Equitable Admissions Are Proportionate

Instead of absolving selective colleges of their obligation to admit comparable numbers of men and women, we wish that the Editorial Board had consistently applied its reparative admissions rationale to men.

Students, Alumni Attend Tailgates
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Harvard Isn’t Fun Enough. That’s No Laughing Matter.

Fun is no laughing matter. It is an institutional imperative for students to be happy and socially connected. A mental health crisis fueled by record loneliness is what happens when we act like fun is not an essential, soul-nourishing part of the human experience.  So why do our fetes falter? I see two things dimming the Friday night lights.

Talking About Admissions
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Admissions Can’t Be a Dirty Word

The thing that unsettles me most about today’s affirmative action decision is that admissions remains a dirty word on Harvard’s campus. There exists a politics of politeness that proscribes honest discussion about Harvard College’s admissions practices. This reluctance has long held back reform; now, it could restrain the student response to the fall of affirmative action too.

Convocation 2021 Photo Essay 13
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Need-Blind: Why Harvard Hardly Accepts Low-Income Students

Lost beneath the panic over affirmative action’s coming demise, the hidden tragedy of the ongoing admissions saga has been to make it seem as though class-conscious admissions is an alternative to race-conscious admissions. In reality, we need both. My point is not that there is one inarguable conclusion about how to fairly structure Harvard admissions; it’s that the current system has failed to achieve economic diversity, which is a state of affairs we must reject and improve.

Summer in Cambridge

Dissent: We Can Take the Heat

With today’s editorial, the Board seems to have missed the punchline. As a long, important train of our precedents emphasizes, student well-being matters deeply and merits firm institutional support across a host of issues far more serious than a few sweltering evenings. But Harvard neither can nor should be a palace. Manageable, non-life-threatening adversity is an entirely reasonable burden to expect us to bear.


Dissent: David Kane is Harvard’s Institutional Failure

Harvard should use its reputation amongst universities to remove rot as soon as it’s discovered. The longer it fails to do so, the deeper the blight of misconduct will fester and spread. Students, for want of a Google search, will continue to suffer.

Harvard Square, Charles River and Allston
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Harvard Dreams, Allston Nightmares

Harvard’s dreams and Allston’s nightmares are one and the same. It’s time for both to end.

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A More Democratic Student Government Wouldn’t Have Elections

The original sin of this school comes with awkwardly fitting a fractured template for representative government from the outside world onto a community small enough to lead itself cooperatively. To absolve it, we must choose something different, better — a politics of direct democracy, of personality, and of action.

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The SAT Doesn’t Matter: A Case for Economic Affirmative Action

If Harvard cares about diversity of perspective, about being a place for ordinary people, and about being plain old fair, it must drastically alter how it accounts for wealth in admissions.

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What Criticisms of Grade Inflation Really Tell Us

Criticisms of grade inflation mistakenly take a handful of letters to represent a potent educational spirit that goes much deeper. But in perhaps a greater way, they grasp a truth of Harvard we would all do well to admit.