It is the time of year when we find ourselves floating within in-betweens. To capture this quality/state/feeling, FM set out to find 15 of the most liminal spaces on campus.
Dear Reader, This time of year is a bit confusing. Temperatures are in the 40s or 50s and the sun is setting at 4:30, but beautiful fall foliage is still around. Students are registering for next semester’s classes while doing midterms for our current classes. We have piles of work to do, but it’s basically Thanksgiving Break and we take a day or two off to go to New Haven, only to lose The Game… But The Game isn’t the only way Yale is ahead of Harvard. In this week’s scrut, NHS and EJS write about Harvard’s undergraduate class size has stayed the same in recent years, while Yale and many other Ivies have expanded. But for people invested in Harvard’s elitism, though, this might be a win — after all, isn’t Harvard’s exclusivity what makes it Harvard? Read the scrut to learn more about why Harvard’s plans for class expansion fell through and ideas that people have for making Harvard more accessible. This week, FM brings you yet another map, but this time we didn’t just choose locations. We chose vibes. We chose states of being. We chose 15 liminal spaces, places of in-between. GRW and CPRJ write about the Harvard Study of Adult Development whose results have received much attention for finding that forming deep relationships is the key to a happy life. However, some of the data used by the study is connected to scientific racism and eugenics. AEP and MTB interview international students at Harvard about how their concentration choices were affected by the STEM Optional Practical Training extension program, which allows international students studying in the U.S. to extend their visas for an additional 2 years if they study a STEM field. ASA and ETS talk to Brooks B. Lambert-Sluder ’05, who oversees the PAF program, about the value of having a PAF, which he did not have as an undergrad, and how he helped build the program since. MVE makes a triumphant return to FM to write about the Harvard Bicycle Club, a group of men who rode penny farthings together, occasionally raced, and held elaborate club dinners. In this week’s 15Q, HD interviews Jonathan Zittrain on the regulation of AI, his work with the Applied Media lab, and the future of the Internet. In her endpaper HWD writes about the joys and challenges of being a cowboy at Deep Springs, and her subsequent transition to being a Harvard student in Cambridge, Mass. Thank you to SWF for becoming FM’s resident cartographer and making us some beautiful maps. To SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG, thank you for being the best maestro team anyone could ask for! Special thanks to LJPE, HL, SS, SCS, MHS, AZ, and, of course, SET for our most drop-dead gorgeous glossy yet and for allowing us to finish proofing in record time. Thank you to BLK and MX for all the help you give us, proofing and beyond. AHL, this week we had some of our lasts — our last normal writers meeting, our last maestro, and there are still more lasts to come. It was bittersweet. I’m gonna save the long sappy comment for my last closeout, so for now I’ll just say thank you for being such a brilliant, dependable co-chair, and for making this job much more fun. Now just to try and savor these last few weeks … and plan our retirement party. FM Love, IYG & AHL
Dear Reader, We hope you’re staying warm despite the wind, rain, and old drafty dorm rooms. But now you have the perfect excuse to curl up with a cup of tea, forget your early-enrollment period stress, and read our issue! It’s a good (and chunky) one. In this issue’s scrut, SJ and YAK bring us back to the ’20s, when Harvard admissions first became competitive. During his term, President Abbott Lawrence Lowell aimed to limit the number of Jewish students on campus to maintain the Anglo-Saxon character of the school. Some of the measures that Lowell’s admissions committee implemented became part of what is now the Harvard Admissions Office’s holistic review process. Other measures evolved into legacy preference, which has come under scrutiny in light of the Supreme Court decision this summer that overturned race-based affirmative action. This scrutiny traces the antisemitic history of legacy admissions and what it says about the exclusionary history of the College. Who does a Harvard education aim to serve? Can college admissions ever be certifiably inclusive at an elite institution? Also in this issue, SSL goes on a run with Graham Blanks ’25, a record-breaking distance runner at Harvard — or more accurately, she goes on a bike ride to keep up Blanks’s “casual” seven-minute-per-mile pace as he chats about his running insights, training regimen, and shares a glimpse into the lifestyle of a collegiate athlete. CNS and AC interview Kylie Hunts-in-Winter ’25, a martial arts world title holder, a prominent advocate for raising awareness of the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and co-president of the Harvard Jiu Jitsu Club. They talk with her about how her martial arts training intersects with her advocacy for women's empowerment and Indigenous rights. AI, AEP, and TNR interview English professor Stephanie L. Burt, who is teaching a new course titled “Taylor Swift and Her World” in the spring, offering students an opportunity to analyze Swift’s lyrics, music, and influence in the broader context of American art and literature. IBC interviews poet Joseph N. Fasano who is dedicated to democratizing poetry by making it accessible to a broader audience. CJY and AXN write about The Aging Initiative at Harvard, co-founded by Alyson D. Harvey and her colleagues, which aims to generate interest and awareness of aging research and the social and financial implications of aging. MMN writes about the ALiVe Project, which is run by researchers at the GSD, in collaboration with the Wyss Institute and SEAS, who are exploring innovative architectural technologies to make more environmentally efficient buildings. CM and LG talk to Delilah Brown, a student at Harvard Extension School who is managing and improving Harvard’s campus eateries, revitalizing the Queen’s Head Pub as well as the Barker and Lamont Cafes. As for the beloved undergraduate hangout Cabot Café, AS and MD report that the managers have delayed its opening due to new regulatory processes, costly certification requirements for student managers, and budget challenges. VWR also ventures to the Quad and reports on the recent game of Harvard Survivor, where 16 participants faced various challenges, searched for hidden idols, and formed alliances. AEP writes a choose-your-own-levity: how will you, a lone biker, make it to Mather in a sea of scooters? EL makes a comic suggesting various ways to be productive on the endless ride between Central Square and Harvard Square on the T. Lucky reader, you get to enjoy not one, but two 15Qs! BWF talks to historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the history of DIY transitioning, trans girl meme culture, and the trans community’s resilience in the face of political attack on all sides. CJK sits down with historian Naomi Oreskes to talk about climate change denialism, the discordance between climate sustainability and economic growth, and her favorite rock (spoiler: it’s Labradorite). It’s that time of the semester and we get it: you’re drowning. No fear, FM is here to provide you with our recommendations for the top 15 best places to cry. We got your back. In this issue’s endpaper, CJK reflects on the impact of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” on her understanding of womanhood, lineage, and the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. We also bring you a crossword puzzle themed for this week’s scrutiny, constructed by crossword master JGH. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for maestroing all year and especially to our design team for bringing us amazing glossies, time after time! Thank you to our execs and writers — we love you. Thank you to BLK and MX for proofing. A huge thank you to KT and HD for filling in our shoes a little prematurely to help us edit during shoot — so proud of and thankful for you two. Thank you to the rest of superboard for making Turkey Shoot deliberations legitimately enjoyable. Good luck to the 151st Guard — you’ll do great! The biggest thank you, as always, goes to my steadfast co-chair. I don’t know what I would do without you by my side (while watching Instagram reels, knitting, and playing online solitaire). Labradorite is cool and all but my favorite rock is and will always be IYG. FM Love, AHL & IYG
Dear Reader, Happy Halloweekend! We hope you’re taking in the sun (while we still have it). And while the weather makes going out in skimpy animal costumes more enjoyable this Halloween, it’s hard not to feel unsettled by this unseasonal warmth. Even so, it’s a nice reminder to go outside, take a break, go on a walk, and admire the vibrance of the changing leaves. This is peak New England fall — remember to take advantage of it. In this issue’s scrut, JKW writes about the experiences of having an eating disorder at Harvard. She opens up about her own history of disordered eating and shares other Harvard student’s stories. After months of research, interviews, and introspection, she brings us a powerful, beautifully written story about how, at Harvard, student culture can encourage disordered eating and how bureaucratic oversight often makes the process of recovery fall solely on the individual. She also speaks with medical professionals and experts to uncover more broadly where the problem begins. Thank you, JKW, for bringing this important story to light, and thank you MG for your diligent editing and your empathy. RCA and AY report on the library in the SEC (yes, it exists) and its collection, which runs the gamut, spanning from graphic novels to poetry collections to memoirs, many of which discuss the intersection of the development of science and technology with questions of race, gender, and ability. AI and MMN write about the Cambridge Time Trade Circle, where people can make purchases and complete tasks using an alternative economy using time as a currency. This week, we bring you another map: this time, MTS and MEE report on all our favorite haunts (and the ghosts who haunt them). And in this issue’s 15Q, SWF interviews Bruno Carvalho, whose research focuses on cities and culture, talking to him about the current controversy surrounding bike lanes in Cambridge, the first things he notices when he goes to a new city, and Halloween costumes. In our endpaper, EMK writes about her favorite cry-read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince,” and how it resonates with her continual search for home. Thank you to SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for maestro magnificence. Thank you to our execs — the lifeblood of our backend production (and an especially big thanks to those who helped hand deliver the glossy!). Thank you to BLK and MX for proofing in the direst of circumstances (Turkey Shoot, Crimween, Parent’s Weekend). Thank you to our writers, and especially to our readers for sticking with us. To IYG: the funniest person I know. Thank you for being a good sport and for always being there — we’re chugging along, even with midterms and Turkey Shoot, and making (New York Times) connections along the way. I’m so excited to round out the rest of the year with you! FM Love, AHL & IYG
Fifteen Minutes Magazine's October 2023 Print Glossy
Dear Reader, Between midterms and endless meetings these mid-semester weeks are quite brutal. It’s easy to just want to skip ahead to the next break, but even hard weeks have their silver linings. Like this issue! These articles are sure to have you skipping happily to your next midterm. In this issue’s scrut CJK and STB write about how the African and African American Studies Department came to be. Weaving together student writing at the time, countless archival Crimson articles, and retrospective interviews with key players, they meticulously reconstruct the student-led protests and advocacy that eventually pressured the faculty into creating the department. They then explain how, slowly, and, at times, painfully, the department was built up to what it is today. As students today also try to effect change at Harvard, this story is incredibly relevant and important. HWD talks to Jennifer E. Hoffman, a physics professor who is using her sabbatical to run all the way across the country — she’s averaging 60 miles a day, and aiming to break the world record! CEK interviews Aryt Alasti, a security guard at Harvard, about his gardening work around campus and his relationship with Harvard. CES and CNS write about Lawrence B. Millman, a mycologist — a professional mushroom man, that is — and his love for spores galore. Fun fact: his nickname growing up was “dirty little Thoreau.” After the hubbub surrounding the fake freshman this fall, ASA and VWR look into other historical cases of people pretending to be students on campus. LG writes about H Bomb, a now-defunct sex magazine at Harvard in the mid-2000s. Before the Head of the Charles this weekend, AY and CB go to the banks of the Charles to see the maiden voyage of a Harvard’s student pumpkin boat. Yep, you heard that right, a Harvard student hollowed out a giant pumpkin and turned it into a boat. RCG visits the Warren House and writes about its history and, particularly, its bathroom (and the murder mystery that it’s featured in). SSL writes about the app Claim, which allows students to get discounted and free food, and how it works as an advertising platform for businesses around the Square. MMFW talks to Maria Dominguez Gray about her work at Phillips Brooks House Association. In the endpaper for this issue, SEW explains that every square inch of her room is decorated with ephemera, and why she wouldn’t have it any other way. Go read the issue! There are no skips!!! Thank you SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, and JJG for lending your visual talents to our magazine. Particular thanks to SET for such beautiful glossy spreads, helping us handle InDesign, exporting, and printing troubles. Thank you to BLK and MX for thoughtful proofing and comments, and to SEW for good vibes and scrut proofing. Special thanks to our fantastic compers for writing your first articles, and for contributing your wonderful ideas and writing to our magazine. And, of course, thank you AHL. As we’ve remarked multiple times this week, we spend so much time together that we’re basically just a merged being now. Thanks for making this job infinitely more manageable and fun! FM Love, IYG & AHL
Dear Reader, As midterms and Turkey Shoot — The Crimson’s formal process for choosing leadership for the next year — approach, it’s hard not to think about how quickly this semester (indeed, this whole year) has been going. We’re reminded of the importance of slowing down, of being deliberate with our time and energy. It’s even harder to think about the tragedy and horror of current events. And it’s during times like these that we realize the importance of looking out for each other and, most importantly, ourselves. In this week’s issue, we’re publishing what amounts to 10 months of reporting and writing by KT on Harvard’s leave of absence policy. She weaves introspection with thoughtful and diligent interrogation of systemic issues in our College’s mental health supports, and walks us through the obstacles and oversights in the policy by highlighting the stories of five students. Thank you, all of you, for sharing your experiences. Thank you, KT, for being such a steadfast reporter, writer, EAL, and friend. Intrepid HD writes two articles for us this week. The first is about Adam Mastroianni’s rejection of academia and his turn toward a more accessible form of education: blogging. He also writes a dual profile of Alice Cai and Anh Phu Nguyen, Harvard’s first and only concentrators in Human Augmentation. But, while they share an interest in the technological advancement of humanity, they have two very different visions of what that will look like. NHS interviews Rochelle Walensky — who recently stepped down as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control — about her tenure at the CDC, what she’s doing at Harvard now, and what she reads for fun. The FM staff also shares tips on what are undeniably the top fifteen places to make out (on campus). Thank you to TRM for bringing the map to life with some last-minute Flourish help! END makes a beautiful comic that captures quite well the rainy fall weather we’ve been having. And be sure to check out our crossword tab for our new scrut-themed puzzle by BWF, crossword-extraordinaire. Finally, for our endpaper, SV shares her journey with loss. The loss of loved ones is universalizing — it’s also a loss of optimism, of traditions, of answers. It is crushing. It is irrevocable. But there is — and always will be — love. Thank you SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH and JJG for your photographic and illustrative talents (and, of course, for layout prowess). Thank you to BLK and MX, as always. Thank you to BWF for scroofing magic. Thank you to our execs and writers — you’re our lodestars. And, of course, thank you IYG for keeping me sane. What would I do without my goth/emo queen? FM Love, AHL + IYG
Here’s our intel on the top 15 places to make out on campus, just for you. Thank us later.
Dear Reader, This week we were blessed with what might be the last few days of warmth for several months. With the sun shining down on trees whose leaves are just beginning to turn yellow, orange, and red at the edges, campus has never looked more beautiful. Appreciating campus’s beauty is also easier when you get to scrut edit from a room with a river view on the 9th floor of Leverett Towers. Working away at that scrut was SEW and RHDN, who wrote this week’s scrut about the calls for a Southeast Asian Studies department at Harvard. This year, Harvard is offering Filipino (Tagalog) and Indonesian for the first time. Proponents of Southeast Asian studies celebrate these offerings but explain that, ultimately, more classes and professorships are needed. At the moment, there is only one class at Harvard that centers Southeast Asian studies, and no professors whose primary interests lie in Southeast Asia. For Southeast Asians at Harvard, this historical neglect of Southeast Asia raises the question of who has a place at institutions like Harvard. VX goes to “Exchanging Notes,” an event showcasing the culmination of months of collaboration between Georgian and American artists. MGB interviews Vijay Iyer about the neuroscience of music and how time is really a measure of motion. SWF writes about Mount Harvard, Harvard’s past astronomy observatory in Peru, and about how its work relied on the labor of indigenous workers in Peru and underpaid female astronomers in Cambridge. SZB writes a beautiful reflection on Susan Sontag’s relationship to Harvard and how she saw her writing career as incompatible with academia. In another beautiful endpaper, KSG writes about finding home when there’s no physical place to anchor yourself to. Tbh it was fantastic to have the compers join us for their first writer’s meeting this week, thanks for coming! Thank you SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH and JJG for your visual talents and for accommodating some last minute requests. Thank you to BLK and MX for proofing (and for giving yourselves a much needed break at news retreat). And thank you to SWF, HD, and GRW for proofing the last three scruts — y’all were truly fantastic scrut fairies. Thank you to FM execs for all the work you do for this magazine, and, this week, for becoming team “So Many Issues” at Queen’s Head Pub Trivia Night. Though we typically like to do things in 15s, this time 14.5 points was enough to score us some pretty snazzy caps. And, as always, thank you AHL for insightful scrut comments, proofing marathons, and teaching me about the history of Washington Square Park (and how to say Allen Ginsberg in Chinese). FM Love, IYG and AHL
Dear Reader, As the leaves turn, FM turns a new page – or rather, a new issue. It’s funny to think how cyclical things are. Yes, obviously, the seasons cycle through, but so too do our seasonal fashions. The very people who mocked Uggs, messy buns, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, and all things good about autumn are now donning those same Uggs and drinking those BOGO Starbucks fall drinks (myself included). In this week’s issue, DRZ and JL make their scrutiny debuts with a deep dive into the efforts for disability justice at the College. It almost goes without saying that Harvard — and most other institutions, at that — was not built to accommodate people with disabilities. It was thanks to the efforts of disabled advocates and allies, both on a national scale and on our very own campus, that Harvard and other academic institutions have become more accessible. But demands for justice do not stop at receiving basic accommodations; disabled students at Harvard are asking for inclusion in all spaces, both academic and social. DRZ and JL interview students central to those efforts and explore the history of disability rights at Harvard. Thank you so much, you two, for your dutiful reporting and unwavering dedication. SND writes about Spartacus — no, not the Thracian gladiator or the hit Stanley Kubrick film — the Spartacus Youth League, a communist group active on campus from the ’70s through the ’90s. YAK writes a levity about Harvard’s most (in)famous alumni and the impressive LinkedIn achievements they have accrued. CJK and MTB write about the digitization of prison-run newspapers from the archives of the Harvard Law School Library. GW newspaper archives himself (and interviews a Nobel prize winner) to find out how recombinant DNA became so controversial in Cambridge when it was introduced in the ’70s. This issue comes with not just one, but TWO fabulous photo essays; beloved former chair SSL and current multimedia chair JJG trek to Plymouth to see the effects of Eel River Preserve’s transformation from an old cranberry bog to a native Atlantic white cedar swamp, documenting the Eel River Headwaters Restoration Project’s efforts to return nature to nature. On the slightly more unsettling side, photographer-extraordinaire BYC accompanies (a different) SSL to a workshop on how to embalm rats… In our 15Q of the week, MG interviews Jocelyn Viterna and discusses abortion policies in El Salvador and how gender politics affect social movements. For this issue’s endpaper, GBW writes about how destabilizing his loss of faith has been and his search for a softer place to land. Thank you SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH and JJG for the beautiful photographs and illustrations, always. Thank you to BLK and MX for your support, careful proofing and editing, and good cheer. Thank you to the FM execs who helped make it all happen. And last but not least, IYG, thank you for being the warrior you are — together, we can take on the challenges of proofing and editing in the dead of night, emailing and coordinating a million different things at once, and Chinese 140XA. FM Love, AHL and IYG
Dear Reader, We’re back! A few days late, but back nonetheless. After scattering across the globe this summer, we’ve returned to 14p. Between killer writers meeting playlists, rooftop socials, and the simple fact that we are all finally in the same space again, the vibes have never been better. Nowhere were the vibes more expertly synthesized than by BWF and JJG, who wrote this week’s scrut about Walpole State Prison. Fifty years ago, the Massachusetts corrections commissioner gave the keys to the prisoners, and had them run the prison for two months. Meticulously researched and constructed, this scrut looks into the events at Walpole and how the prison changed in the years following, all to understand how Walpole’s legacy should shape our thinking about prisons today. Big kudos to the authors for pulling together such a detailed, thoughtful scrut for our first issue. Elsewhere in this issue, YAK writes about True Love Revolution, a club at Harvard in the mid-aughts that promoted abstinence on campus, reflecting on how, despite her skepticism of the club’s mission and personal distaste for sexual shaming, the abstinence education she received in school influence her perspective now. Hate Red’s Best? Read SEW and ESK’s article about HUDS’ efforts to be sustainable, and maybe reconsider. Beyond finding out how dining hall food is sourced, they dive into the details of how HUDS deals with food waste and recycling. A green star for HUDS and a gold star for these determined writers! We’ve also put out a quartet of 15Qs: Before even arriving on campus, GRW talked to Kathleen Coleman about Gladiators and racism in the classics. JKW had a fascinating conversation with Catherine Brekus about Christianity in America and women in history. KT asked psychology professor Mina Cikara about the psychology of hate crimes. Last but not least, KLM talked to economist David Yang about everything from cookbooks to CCP censorship to propaganda. Our endpaper this week is all about reflecting on summers away from home, and the homecomings that follow. CCG, AS, MG, URR, TAK, and CPR each write about their summers, looking back on the new routines they made across the globe — and the personal growth that came with it. ACF publishes her debut crossword this week, “An Awfully Good Puzzle.” A big thanks to JYY and KL for updating our crossword tab (you can now solve archived crosswords!) and for answering our stupid questions! Thank you to everyone who engaged with FM over summer — thank you to reading club attendees, to SEW, KLM, and CJK for joining the exec team, and SET for working on some truly gorgeous new glossy designs. The usual thanks are due as well — thank you SS, SET, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH and JJG for all the work you do taking our photos and creating our graphics (and for Maestro, and for moving Maestro to the start of the hour). Thank you to BLK and MX, as always, for proofing our articles, and for all the time you gave to FM this summer with mini-shoot and pitch meetings and the time you continue to give to us. And most of all, thank you to AHL, for everything you do for this publication, but also for your friendship — excited for more post-Chinese lunches and conversations to come this semester! FM Love, IYG and AHL