The Harvard Crimson The University Daily, Est. 1873 | Volume CXLVI No. 80 | Cambridge, Massachusetts | WEDNESDAY, september 11, 2019
editorial PAGE 4
news PAGE 3
sports PAGE 6
For some, the threat climate change poses hits home
Cambridge residents were polled on City Council members and local issues
Harvard men’s gold dominates in season opener
SEAS Releases Diversity Plan Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released a five year strategic plan to address diversity, inclusion, and belonging in school in an email to faculty, staff, and students earlier this week. The report was created by the SEAS Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in response to the data collected from a 2018 SEAS climate survey, which found more than a quarter of its respondents said that they have experienced harassment or discrimination during their time at SEAS. The plan includes eight goals ranging from recruiting more diverse faculty, students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff to reducing and preventing instances of harrasment or discrimination. It also includes expanding outreach programs promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Cambridge and Allston. Each of the eight goals has an associated set of recommenda
New Fencing Coach Named By DEVIN B. SRIVASTAVA Crimson Staff Writer
The Athletics department named Daria Schneider the new head coach of the Harvard men’s and women’s fencing programs Tuesday afternoon. Schneider, who fenced at Columbia University during her undergraduate years, was the head fencing coach at Cornell for three years before coming to Harvard. She is the first woman to lead Harvard’s fencing programs. This announcement comes two months after Harvard dismissed head fencing coach Peter Brand, following an independent investigation which concluded that he had violated Harvard’s conflict of interest policy. Brand sold his Needham, Mass. house for hundreds of thousands of dollars above its valuation to the family of a prospective student, who was shortly thereafter admitted to the College as a member of the fencing team. Brand first took over the fencing program in 1999. After his departure in July 2019, the men’s and women’s team was under the supervision of his two assistant coaches. Schneider was named the 2018 Ivy League co-coach of the year at Cornell and is a member of the USA Fencing Board of Directors and the U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council. “Daria brings to Harvard a very accomplished background both as a head coach and as a fencer, and she will be a tremendous leader for our student-athletes and program,” Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise said. Schneider takes over a program that was thrown into the national spotlight following Brand’s conflict of interest violation. “I look forward to working with scholar-athletes, Harvard Athletics colleagues and the wider Harvard community to make a leading fencing
See COACH Page 3 Inside this issue
Harvard Today 2
tions for achieving that objective within the next five years. Each recommendation is also categorized as low or high cost, low or high effort, and identifies a timeline — either immediate, short-term, medium-term, or long-term. Alexis J. Stokes, DIB committee chair, wrote in an emailed statement that she is “hopeful” the report will advance the committee’s efforts. “This was truly a collaborative effort and the actions to come will require the same collaborative approach,” she wrote. Recommendations in the report include creating a community standards document to post throughout SEAS buildings and classrooms in order to “demonstrate an institutional commitment” to these issues, and a pledge to fund more diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. Another proposed initiative suggested developing bystander training specifically for SEAS faculty, meant to address
See DIVERSITY Page 3
By shera s. avi-yonah and delano r. franklin Crimson Staff Writers
Last week a Boston judge dismissed charges against a Harvard freshman, who was one of the 36 protesters arrested at a controversial “straight pride” parade held in Boston on Aug. 31. Kai DeJesus ’23 said the Boston Police charged her with disorderly conduct after she sat down in front of officers on motorcycles attempting to clear protesters in the street. Though Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard J. Sinnott dismissed the charges against DeJesus and at least nine others, eight protesters will face prosecution for alleged violent conduct. “I wanted people like me to know that they had people behind them,” said DeJesus, who is a transgender woman. “There are problematic things about talking about straight pride itself, because of the fact that the reason why there is gay pride is out of a necessity to be safe.” DeJesus alleged that a Boston Police officer used zip ties to restrain her and would not allow her and other female detainees to use the bathroom during the several hours they spent at a local police station. The Bos
Kai DeJesus ’23 was one of 36 people charged for protesting against a ‘straight pride’ parade in Boston earlier this month. Her charges were dropped Sept. 4. shera s. avi-yonah—Crimson photographer
ton Police Department did not provide comment on DeJesus’s case. The parade — organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America — was mobbed by protestors, who heckled marchers and, at times, clashed with police officers. Those arrested faced charges ranging from
disorderly conduct to assault and battery on police officers. Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross released a statement Monday defending his department’s handling of the parade and protests. “I could not be more proud or impressed with the high levels of
restraint and professionalism displayed by my officers tasked with safeguarding and protecting all who either attended, participated or protested at the parade,” the statement reads. DeJesus returned to Boston
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CS 50 Tops Enrollment While New Gen Eds Face Caps Course Enrollment
By juliet e. isselbacher Crimson Staff Writer
800 Number of Students
By ruth a. hailu Crimson Staff Writer
Charges Against Freshman Dropped
735 666 601
0 CS 50: Intro GENED 1058: EC 10: Principals STAT 110: to Computer Tech Ethics of Economics Intro to Science Probability
LS1A: Intro to Life Sciences 1
Matthew J. Tyler—Crimson Designer
Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science” retained its reigning spot as the College’s largest course this fall, a distinction held by the perennially popular Economics 10a: “Principles of Economics” up until 2017. The returning course General Education 1058: “Tech Ethics: AI, Biotech, and the Future of Human Nature,” a 2016 veteran, had an enrollment cap but trumped both the uncapped courses in popularity, garnering lottery entries from 1025 undergraduates, according to Government professor Michael J. Sandel. Of these 1025, 666 undergraduates enrolled, according to data from Sept. 9 available on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences registrar website. Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology professor Amy J. Wagers, who co-chairs the Facul-
ty committee on Gen Ed, has previously defended the course caps, arguing that small class sizes allow for better student interaction. “While it is conceivable that one could achieve those kinds of interactions in a larger group, it’s more challenging,” Wagers said. “As enrollments increase, you have smaller groups that coalesce and then you’re less likely to move outside of your normal peer group, and participation becomes harder in the common dialogue of the class.” CS50 garnered 735 undergraduate enrollees, followed by Tech Ethics, Ec10 with 601, and Statistics 110: “Introduction to Probability” with 535. Life Sciences 1A: “An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology” broke into the top five this year with a cohort of 325 College students. Biology professor Richard
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College Basketball Analyst and Activist Talk Sports, Justice By ellen m. burstein Crimson Staff Writer
Former National Basketball Association player Clark C. Kellogg and activist and former Institute of Politics fellow Brittany N. Packnett discussed sports, activism, and social justice at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Monday evening. Kellogg and Packnett, in conversation with Peter A. Carfanga, a Harvard Law School lecturer, discussed the role that race, gender, and socioeconomic identity play in sports. One audience member asked the panelists about their advice for athletes who face professional repercussions for speaking out about social issues. Kellogg stressed the importance of believing in one’s cause before speaking out. “I think anytime you’re going to engage in activism, that you have to do it from a place of great conviction,” said Kellogg. “You need to have courage if it’s going to be painful or difficult and you need folks around you that can help you,” he added. Kellog also discussed how athletes and other prominent
popular culture figures should evaluate their collaborations with athletic leagues embroiled in controversy, in particular focusing on musician Jay-Z’s partnership with the National Football League. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a former player for the San Francisco 49’ers, began protesting the United States national anthem by sitting or kneeling when the song was played before games. His actions prompted players around the league and across the country to perform similar gestures at the start of games. Two years later, following heavy criticism of the protest from President Donald Trump, the NFL banned players from kneeling during the national anthem. Kellogg noted that it is “to be determined” what will happen with Jay-Z’s partnership moving forward, but said that those with influence have an obligation to use it responsibly. “There’s always greater responsibility with greater privilege, and individuals have to
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Former IOP fellow Brittany Packett, and former NBA player Clark Kellog discuss the power of sports and the positive influence athletes can have on their community. naomi s. castellon-perez—Crimson photographer
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THE HARVARD CRIMSON |
september 11, 2019
For Lunch BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Chicken Fingers Lo Mein
For Dinner Bulgogi Chicken Red’s Best Fresh Catch Four Macaroni and Cheddar
Today’s Events Harvard Student Late Night Harvard Art Museum, 8-10 p.m.
in The Real World
This is a great way to explore the Harvard Art Museums! Bring your Harvard ID and visit the museum’s special exhibition entitled Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art. Then, learn about the undergraduate programs the museums offer.
Bolton No Longer National Security Advisor
President Trump ousted John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, from his administration. This comes after reports of conflict between Trump and Bolton concerning the now-cancelled peace negotiations with the Taliban that were scheduled to take place at Camp David. This is the third national security adviser to leave the Trump administration.
The Crimson’s Fall 2019 Open House 14 Plympton St., 7-8:30 p.m. The Crimson offers 10 unique boards, 12 comps, and endless ways to participate in the nation’s oldest continuously published daily college newspaper. Head over to 14 Plympton St. to learn more!
Further Deaths from Vaping-Related Disease Shoppers stand in line to buy food from the Union Square Donuts stand at the Farmer’s Market in the Science Center Plaza Tuesday afternoon. Kathryn S. Kuhar—Crimson photographer
Daily Briefing The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released a five-year plan to address diversity, inclusion, and belonging in an email to affiliates earlier this week. The plan comes in response to data collected from a 2018 climate survey that found that more than a quarter of respondents had experienced harassment or discrimination during their time at SEAS. In other news, a Boston judge has dismissed charges against a College student who was arrested while protesting the controversial “straight pride parade” earlier this month.
A sixth death was reported in the United States from a vaping-related lung disease. In the United States, there are currently more than 450 cases of vaping-related lung illness across 33 states. An underlying cause of the sickness has not been identified, however, medical associations have put out a warning for the public to stop usage of vaping until more is known about it.
Apple Announces iPhone 11
Apple had a press conference today to unveil the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The most noted change from previous versions of the iPhone is the iPhone 11 has two cameras (the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have three), though other updates have been made to extend battery life and update hardware.
Around the Ivies BROWN Brown University was awarded a federal grant of more than $50 million over the next five years to study non-drug Alzheimer’s care, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The project comes at a time when Alzheimer’s currently affects 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65, and will investigate whether professionals like nursing aides and doctor’s secretaries can implement the care that best improves quality of life and reduces stress.
Columbia University’s Art Humanities Curriculum will be going under review and revision for the first time since 1947, according to the Columbia Daily Spectator. Columbia’s “Art Hum” curriculum — which is a key part of Columbia’s larger core curriculum — has been criticized for a Westerncentric syllabus that primarily focuses on works by white men. The Art History Department intends to roll out a more diverse lesson plan by fall 2020.
A federal immigration checkpoint that took place just outside of Lebanon, N.H. has upset students and faculty at Dartmouth College, according to the Dartmouth. The checkpoint, which is closer to Dartmouth’s campus than it has been in years prior, was operated by United States Customs and Border agents this past Thursday – the same day many international students were arriving on campus for pre-orientation activities. According to a press release by Dartmouth College, the school criticized the “unnecessary” checkpoint “[sending] a message at odds with the open and welcoming values of an institution like Dartmouth.” Several students were stopped for questioning at the Lebanon checkpoint.
THE UNIVERSITY DAILY, EST. 1873
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Copyright 2019, The Harvard Crimson (USPS 236-560). No articles, editorials, cartoons or any part thereof appearing in The Crimson may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the President. The Associated Press holds the right to reprint any materials published in The Crimson. The Crimson is a non-profit, independent corporation, founded in 1873 and incorporated in 1967. Second-class postage paid in Boston, Massachusetts. Published Monday through Friday except holidays and during vacations, three times weekly during reading and exam periods by The Harvard Crimson Inc., 14 Plympton St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138 Weather icons made by Freepik, Yannick, Situ Herrera, OCHA, SimpleIcon, Catalin Fertu from flaticon.com is licensed by CC BY 3.0.
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THE HARVARD CRIMSON | september 11, 2019
Emerson Holds SEAS Releases New Inclusion Plan Local Survey diversity From Page 1
harassment and discrimination. A version of the training was piloted this past summer and is planned to begin its official rollout this fall. Krzysztof Gajos, DIB committee vice chair, said he was “particularly hopeful” about this initiative. “We believe we can immediately improve the culture at SEAS by giving faculty tools to recognize problematic situations and ways to intervene,” Gajos wrote in an emailed statement. “We focus on the faculty because the results of our climate survey indicate that what faculty say and do carries a lot of weight.” Gajos added that he is focusing on a “bottom up approach” because he believes University-level administrators are ineffective. “I am powerless to change our policies and institutions, both of which are inadequate,”
he wrote. “I am very hopeful about the future of [the Faculty of Arts and Sciences] under the leadership of Dean [Claudine] Gay — in several specific situations that were under her control, I saw her take decisive actions even though in some of those cases she encountered major resistance. However, many of the policies and institutions that impact climate at Harvard are under the control of the Provost and the President.” University spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain declined to comment on Gajos’s comments Tuesday evening. The report also states that SEAS will continue to monitor their metrics by administering a climate survey every three years and publishing longitudinal demographic data online to “monitor data relevant to the reporting and evaluation of [diversity, inclusion, and belong-
ing].” Some proposed metrics for future reports include yearover-year change in concentrators based on demographics, course retention from registration to drop deadline, and recording participation in activities related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. This year’s report presents data related to current SEAS demographics. Undergraduate and graduate students, ladder and non-ladder faculty, and postdocs all overwhelmingly identify as male, while racial demographics differ across parts of the school. A majority of Ph.D. students at SEAS are international, while a large majority of both ladder and non-ladder faculty identify as white. The report states a number of initiatives to improve these metrics, including fundraising to support post-undergradu-
enrollment From Page 1
ate programming for students who lack preparation for graduate school. They also pledged to expand SEAS participation in diversity and STEM conferences, following complaints that SEAS did not attend the annual National Society of Black Engineers conference this past April. Stokes said she is excited to begin implementing these recommendations, but understands the challenges that lie ahead. “I am also acutely aware that this process will be uncomfortable and will require us to push through that discomfort until we see change,” Stokes wrote. “I am not saying this will be easy. There is nothing easy about diversity, equity, and inclusion work but I would argue it is some of the most rewarding work.” email@example.com
ARREST From Page 1
CS50 Tops Enrollment, While Protest Gen Eds Face Course Caps Arrest Charges Dropped M. Losick said that he attributes LS1A’s popularity to the wide range of future classes for which it prepares students. “It’s like a platform to get some skills that they could use in neurobiology or evolutionary biology or molecular biology,” he said. “And we also like to think that the way we teach is unique. We interweave chemistry with biology in the same course. Almost every other university and college bins biology and chemistry in separate courses for freshmen.” Ec10 is also expanding in breadth this year, according to Kennedy School professor Jason Furman ’92, who — along with Economics professor David I. Laibson ’88 — just took the course over from Economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw. “I think it’s particularly important to show that economics is not just the study of finance, but can help us understand inequality, education, gender, race, all sorts of issues,” Furman said. “We’re trying to teach a broader set of topics, spending more time on both understanding economic models but also critiquing those economic models.” Furman added that this year’s iteration of the course will also be differentiated by
more frequent lectures, as well as by a new textbook — from which, he noted, the author is collecting no royalties from its sale to Harvard students. CS50 is also experiencing a number of changes, according to Computer Science professor of practice David J. Malan ’99. “Perhaps the most significant change for Fall 2019 is that the course will fork off in its final two weeks into multiple tracks, each with its own lectures and problem sets,” he wrote in an email. “During those two weeks, all students will watch their choice of lectures online (so that all three tracks can happen in parallel) and submit their own track’s problem sets.” The three tracks are web programming, mobile app development, and game development. “What ultimately matters in this course is not so much where you end up relative to your classmates but where you end up relative to yourself when you began,” Malan wrote. “While CS50 is certainly challenging for many students, myself included back in the day, it’s also a community.” In Tech Ethics, Sandel said he is expanding the course community to encompass the entire
University. “As a pedagogical experiment, we wanted to gather Harvard College students with students from the professional schools to debate questions of Tech Ethics together,” he wrote. Statistics professor Joseph K. Blitzstein — who heads Stat 110 — also emphasized the theme of community, but in relation to his course staff. “The massive size of the course would be a massive challenge for answering questions and grading homeworks, but I’m lucky to have an army of awesome TFs,” he wrote. Some freshmen said they were “overwhelmed” by the size of their first lecture courses, especially in these particular classes. Ty L. Geri ’23 said that attending lecture was like watching a “show.” “It’s quite cinematic,” he said. Charlie J. Maki said he found the scale both “fascinating” and “intimidating.” “It just seems immense — like everything from the architecture, to the kids here — everything just seems really big,” he said.
The latest on student life.
on Sept. 4 for her hearing before Sinnott. The judge — appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker ’79 in 2017 — fought with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins the previous day over his decision to prosecute protesters against her recommendation. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has since granted an emergency petition filed by Rollins on the protesters’ behalf. The Court ruled Monday that Sinnott’s conduct infringed upon the separation of judicial and executive powers by interfering with prosecutorial discretion. DeJesus said she was nervous when she entered her hearing last Wednesday because Sinnott refused to dismiss charges against other protesters. “It really set the tone for the day, I think, which definitely intimidated me and a lot of people who were there,” she said. DeJesus said her attorneys began the day’s proceedings by explaining that they planned to refer to her using her chosen name and preferred gender pronouns. DeJesus has not legally changed her name. She added that Sinnott said the court needed to delay proceedings in order to run her birth name for prior convictions. Several hours later, he decided to drop the charges against DeJesus. Sinnott declined to comment on the case through a Trial Court spokesperson. DeJesus said Monday that her experiences during the protest, in the police station, and at her hearing have stayed with her in the days since. “Since then, I’ve just kind of thought about it a lot, admitting that I did have trauma that I had experienced in this situation,” she said. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
By declan j. knieriem Crimson Staff Writer
In a poll of registered voters in Cambridge released Monday, Mayor Marc C. McGovern and City Councilor E. Denise Simmons garnered the highest approval rating among their peers, polling at 42.5 percent and 40.7 percent, respectively. The Emerson College poll — conducted Sept. 6-8 — surveyed 400 Cambridge residents on their thoughts on City Council members, local issues, and demographics. It did not include polling about the upcoming Council election slated for this November. Overall, the City Council received an approval rating of 33.5 percent, while 25.8 percent of respondents did not approve of its work. Roughly 40.6 percent were either unsure or had no opinion. Of the city’s other current councilors, Timothy J. Toomey polled the next highest at 31.7 percent favorable, and Vice Mayor Jan Devereux and Councilor Craig A Kelley both recorded approximately 30 percent approval. Councilors Dennis J. Carlone, Quinton Y. Zondervan, Alanna M. Mallon, and Sumbul Siddiqui all had approval ratings below 30 percent. No councilors received disapproval ratings above 25 percent. The survey also included questions about significant issues facing Cambridge, as well as conditions in — and improvements to — prominent Cambridge locations such as Central Square. Asked about which issue
COACH From Page 1
Athletics Dept. Names New Fencing Coach program ever more vibrant and dominant,” she said. Last year, the men’s and women’s fencing team combined placed fourth at the NCAA Championships, with three All-America selections. Harvard’s first fencing tour-
nament of the 2019-2020 season is in less than two months. The team is set to travel to State College, Penn. for the Penn State Open on Nov. 23 at Penn State University. firstname.lastname@example.org
IOP From Page 1
NBA Player, Activist Talk Sports and Social Justice steward that as their conscience and convictions guide them,” Kellogg said. Packnett added that she wishes Jay-Z would have spoken to Kaepernick before entering into the partnership. Representatives for Jay-Z did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening. The event, which was co-sponsored by Harvard’s men’s basketball team, was attended by more than two dozen members of the men’s and
they considered the most important, 43.7 percent on those survey chose affordable housing. The second highest issue respondents cited — traffic — polled at only 13.4 percent. Among other issues, crimes, drugs and opioids, and homeslessness all polled at a lower level of concern than bikes and bike lanes. The survey also asked respondents how they feel about a proposed affordable housing overlay that would zone the entire city for affordable development. According to the poll, 38.3 percent support the measure, 31.7 percent oppose it, and 30 percent were unsure. Roughly 25.4 percent of respondents said they were unaware of the overlay’s existence. Initially proposed in February, the zoning overlay would aid housing developers in competing with market rates by creating a more efficient permitting process for units that are classified as affordable. The overlay also incentivizes developing housing units that follow preferred dimensional standards with regard to height, open space, and the distance between buildings and property lines. The proposal has seen extensive debate, both among councilors and by the general public. The overlay also promises to be a dividing issue in the coming November election. Of the 22 candidates running, several have voiced their doubts and grievances with the proposal.
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women’s basketball teams. Jadyn C. Bush ’21, who plays for the women’s basketball team, said she thought the event offered valuable lessons for young athletes. “I think it’s especially relevant being women of color and being in sports to hear kind of how we can move the needle and influence people to care and to be knowledgeable about issues of inequality,” Bush said. email@example.com
THE HARVARD CRIMSON | september 11, 2019
Editorial The Crimson Editorial board
Freshman Advising: It Takes a Village
No Home to Return To
his year, Harvard’s Advising Programs Office has directed Peer Advising Fellows to refrain from advising their freshmen on academic matters. The move comes as part of a larger effort to reform the freshman academic advising system, which has faced heavy criticism from the student body for its dramatically variable quality. Many PAFs have expressed their concern with this decision, feeling that this new restriction of their role may be detrimental to freshmen. We agree with the APO that the advising system must be improved. Some freshman advisers are only loosely affiliated with the College and have little knowledge of undergraduate courses. Moreover, many freshmen may not have the necessary support to navigate the complex maze that is Harvard course selection. While we support the College’s efforts to solve this problem, we are concerned that getting rid of a valuable source of guidance is a step in the wrong direction that will disadvantage many freshmen.
If Harvard wants freshmen to utilize their academic advisers more, they should make them better. Even if academic advisers were already showing improvement in their ability to help students select courses, this move would still be a mistake. If Harvard wants freshmen to utilize their
academic advisers more, they should make them better. But even if that were achieved, barring freshmen from using PAFs for academic advice seems unnecessary and counterproductive. Every freshman has a different experience with the advising system. Some get their best academic advice from their PAFs, while others have a better experience with their advisers. Giving freshmen more options allows for the best chance at a solid connection with at least one source of guidance. The APO should aim to expand and bolster the advising support system, not shrink it. We are heartened that all parties recognize the weakness of freshman academic advising, but freshmen are best served when they have many options for advice. Often the perspective of a fellow student can be more useful than even a great academic advisor because recent, first-hand experience has tremendous value. Many students develop strong personal relationships with their PAFs as well, which can serve as a great foundation for advising. While some academic advisers may be more knowledgeable about the Harvard system than others, allowing freshmen access to both PAFs and advisers allows them to receive the best of both areas of knowledge and experience. We are also concerned that this change specifically disadvantages students who come to Harvard without a previously established network. While students with family or high school connections to Harvard can turn to an older student or alum they already know, students without the benefit of such con-
nections will be much more limited in their ability to access genuine, candid insights from other students.
We are also concerned that this change specifically disadvantages students who come to Harvard without a previously established network. While we recognize that there may be concerns that some PAFs may offer biased or unreliable information to their mentees, we do not share this concern. Indeed, simply instituting a hardand-fast prohibition on offering academic advice is a paternalistic insult both to PAFs’ ability to be objective and freshmen’s ability to be discerning about what advice is objective and what is not. Welcoming freshmen into our community and providing them with the resources and the inside knowledge they need to flourish takes a village. The University should embrace that approach, providing students with more resources and trusting them to make their own decisions. This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.
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Are Sports at Harvard Worth the Risk? By James d. davis
ootball season is upon us. The current instantiation of the 10,000 men of Harvard take the field on Sept. 21 and finish on Nov. 23 when, for the 136th time, Harvard locks horns with Yale. But the battle surrounding Harvard football will not end there. Harvard football, and football in general, is under fire. Due to public health concerns over concussions, participation in football is steadily declining. In 2018, a writer in The Crimson suggested that football presents an unnecessary level of danger and Harvard ought to drop the sport. In 2015, another writer posed the question: “Should Harvard, a school that’s mission is to provide students with a ‘transformational’ education, really be rewarding high school students for playing a sport that risks their physical and mental well-being?” The path to student success most certainly includes health and wellness. But a more pragmatic proposition might be, “Do sports like football contribute enough to Harvard’s culture of transformational education to validate the health risks?” While it would be inaccurate to describe football as “safe,” it seems as though popular media might be blowing the risks out of proportion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls — not football — are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury. Since tripping and falling is mostly out of institutional control, it is fair to focus on athletics and other school sponsored activities. In a 2011 study titled The Epidemiology of Sport-Related Concussion, researchers found that women’s ice hockey had the highest incident rate of concussion with nearly one concussion per 1000 exposures to risk either during practice or games. If we want to eliminate concussion risks for Harvard students, then women’s hockey has to go. Harvard would
have to “drop the puck,” as it were. We would then have to ditch both men’s ice hockey and women’s soccer (.41/1000). Next would be football which has higher levels in a brief spring practice period (.54), but only .37 during the regular season. After that, throw out men’s soccer (.28), wrestling (.25), men’s lacrosse (.25), women’s lacrosse (.25), women’s basketball (.22), and field hockey (.18). Equestrianism – that’s right, horseback riding – accounts for more concussions per participant than any other sport. In other words, sports in general would have to be dismantled. The truth is, football might not the demon popular media has made it out to be. However, we do need to work toward making it safer. And we are. In 2016, the Ivy League changed the kickoff rules by moving the ball placement up 5 yards, from the 35yard line to the 40, to increase the likelihood of touchbacks (when the ball lands in the end zone and is not able to be returned by NCAA rules). Concussions on the kickoff dropped from approximately one in 100 to one in 500. The concussion discussion is anchored not by concussions at all, which are classified by temporary symptoms, but fear of the long-term degenerative effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. There too, the science seems to be changing. Recent research identifies the disease in people who had not experienced multiple concussive or subconcussive impacts. It turns out that CTE may not be an athlete disease after all. On the other side of the risk-reward calculation are the many benefits sports bring. One is the institutional value of transformational education. Education does not occur exclusively in a lecture hall. Sports provide the opportunity to practice real-world application of qualities engrained in the very nature of education: communication, complex-problem solving, delay-of-gratification and
resilience, among countless other capacities. Sports also provide an opportunity to those who would not otherwise have access to an Ivy League education. Recent Ivy League financial aid policies have enhanced the range of student-athletes at many top institutions. Yale’s volleyball coach, Erin Appleman, recently acknowledged that “at least half of her recent recruits were from middle-class families who would not have attended Yale, or any Ivy League university, even five years ago.” Access to higher education matters. Sports play a large role in cultivating a diverse set of perspectives — perspectives which are essential to a transformational culture of education. Furthermore, sports can offer young people the scaffolding they need to hold up an educational experience. Many college athletes benefit from a structured escape from the stressors of academic life. That was certainly true for me. That framework has the potential to extend beyond a career. In modern America, unique on a global scale, more than 100 million of us are either diabetic or prediabetic. Habits of health learned through an athletic career might be able to combat that epidemic. Those calling for the end of football should note that diabetes and neurological health are not separate concerns — cognitive dysfunction is a well-known complication of diabetes. Perhaps this is the wrong time to eliminate goal-oriented, community-enhancing forms of physical activity. So the real question is, should Harvard eliminate athletics as an opportunity for a transformational education, or work to enhance those opportunities by supporting coach and player education, with added emphasis on injury prevention and recovery? The answer is obvious. —James D. Davis graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2016.
Gabrielle T. Langkilde pasefika presence
love going back home. In fact, it’s really the only thing that gets me through Harvard’s rough semesters and Boston’s brutally cold weather. Thoughts of returning home to the beautiful beaches and the shimmering Pacific ocean that surrounds my beautiful American Samoa. Memories of riding in the back of the truck with all my cousins as we pass by lush, green mountains. And daydreams about the fresh catch that Uncle brought to be cooked and wholeheartedly devoured at the family function. But soon, that’s all I’ll have of home — thoughts, dreams, and memories. With the course that climate change is taking, the South Pacific islands are going to be the first to go. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the South Pacific islands are among the most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. In particular, low-lying South Pacific islands and atolls, such as Kiribati and the Marshall Islands, are already experiencing high sea levels that are destroying their homes and threatening to overtake their islands.
With the course that climate change is taking, the South Pacific islands are going to be the first to go. In fact, the Marshall Islands are expected to be completely submerged by 2030, and their people are being forced to either elevate or relocate, removing their 55,000 citizens from their homes and making them climate refugees. Rising sea levels is not the only consequence of climate change threatening our homes and way of life. Rising temperatures are bleaching our coral reefs and shifting our ocean’s temperatures, contributing to a decrease of one of our main sources of food and export — fish. And with rising temperatures heating sea surface levels and destroying our natural barriers, like coral reefs and mangroves, we are left to live in constant fear of stronger and more frequent tropical storms wreaking havoc through our villages. But Harvard doesn’t understand this. It claims to be a safe space for all, but how can I feel safe when its very investments in the fossil fuel industry are contributing to the destruction of my home? How can I feel loved or welcomed here when Harvard is actively threatening the survival of my people? Some students have written and talked about finding a “home away from home” here, but I could never call Harvard home — not when it is part of the reason my true home’s existence hangs in the balance. But Harvard as an institution is not the only problem. It’s the very people on this campus as well. And I’m not just talking about the very few climate change deniers that I have encountered here. I’m talking about those that claim to believe in climate change, but refuse to endorse Harvard’s divestment from fossil fuels. As you sit in the comfort of your safe highland city utopias, you are just as complicit. For whatever reason you may have — whether it be that you don’t believe that Harvard’s investments are a true representation of their sentiments, that divestment would not really help in any significant way in the fight against climate change, etc. — you must first check the privilege from which you are able to make these arguments. Chances are that you’re not from a small island in the South Pacific and go home to see the sea level rise a little more every year. Chances are that the closest you’ve come to seeing the immediate, major threats of climate change is through your TV screen. Chances are that you do not come from a community who has to get creative about their survival. It’s not fair that the South Pacific islands, which contribute far less than 1 percent to the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, are left to receive the harshest consequences of climate change. Our homes and our people deserve better. Actually, it’s more than that — we are entitled to better.
Some students have written and talked about finding a “home away from home” here, but I could never call Harvard home — not when it is part of the reason my true home’s existence hangs in the balance. We should be ensured the right to our land and our homes. And we should not have to live in constant fear of the ocean, a beautiful friend we’ve all been raised to love and respect, swallowing our homes whole. But this is our reality. And the more that you continue to deny or belittle our reality, the harder it becomes for Pacific communities to feel hope for change. So help us in our fight. Talk to your Pacific islander friends (though I know there are very few on campus) and try to get a better picture of our reality. Maybe then, we might have hope of having homes to return to in the future. —Gabrielle T. Langkilde ’21, a Crimson Editorial editor, is a joint concentrator in Sociology and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Eliot House. Her column appears on alternate Wednesdays.
THE HARVARD CRIMSON | September 11, 2019
Proud to cover Harvard for 146 years and counting.
Keep the old sheet flying.
The Crimson thecrimson.com
Women’s Soccer vs. UMass W, 2-1 ___________________________________________________________
woMen’s Volleyball Vs. Rhode Island W, 3-1 ___________________________________________________________
Men’s Soccer Vs. Duke L, 3-0 ___________________________________________________________
Women’s Rugby Vs. Army West Point L, 34-10 ___________________________________________________________
Mens water polo vs. Cal Lutheran W, 16-7 ___________________________________________________________
Cross Country Fordham Fiasco 1st(W), 6th(M) ___________________________________________________________
Field Hockey VS. Connecticut L, 3-0 ___________________________________________________________
Harvard Men’s Golf Dominates in Season Opener By Kostas Tingos Crimson Staff Writer
This past weekend the Harvard men’s golf team opened up its campaign in spectacular fashion at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial in Simsbury, Conn. Even though it was the group’s inaugural appearance at the event, it dominated the field en route to its first tournament win since the 2017 Ivy League Championship. “It feels really great,” junior Grant Fairbairn said. “I’m super proud of how everyone on the team played. I think it’s a really exciting way to start our season.” The Crimson carded a tournament-low first round score of 281, and then followed it up with a 288 on Sunday to finish seven-under par (569). Columbia and Navy, who both finished 21 shots back at 14-over par, were the closest competitors. A slew of other schools including Pennsylvania and Holy Cross rounded out the 17-team field. The strong Harvard showing was mirrored on the individual leaderboard as well. All five Crimson students placed seventh or better in the field of 90 athletes. This is especially impressive given that it was the collegiate debut for two members of the quintet. “We had four first-years come in and two of them ended up traveling,” Fairbairn said. “It’s really exciting to have young players playing really well and the older guys as well.” Brain Ma, the Milpitas, Calif. native, was one of these firstyears. He shot one-under par for the tournament, including a first round score of 71, to finish tied for second overall. Ma poured in 10 birdies over the course of the weekend to accomplish this feat. Fairbairn was the other Harvard athlete to finish in second place. Four birdies each day led him to shoot a 71 and 72 in the first and second rounds respectively.
GAZING AT THE GREEN After a long summer break, the Crimson men’s golf team finally got back on the course this past weekend. It was the group’s first time at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial held in Simsbury, Conn., yet that didn’t stop Harvard from performing at a very high level.. Ryosuke Takashima—Crimson photographer
“My ball striking was really good,” Fairbairn said. “It was a course where you needed to hit it straight off the tee and plan your way around the golf course. That was a strength to my game. It was the first tournament of the season and I didn’t get to play a lot over the summer so it was good to knock off some of the rust and see some things I can work on.”
That being said, the other first-year student in the group was the star of the show. Adam Xiao put on a clinic in his first collegiate tournament to propel himself to the top of the individual leaderboard. This marks the first individual tournament win for a Crimson golfer since 2014. A tournament-best single round score of 68 set the tone on
Saturday. He finished the day strong with an eagle on 17 and a birdie on 18. Xiao then shot a 71 on day two, wrapping things up at five-under par for the event. If this showing is a sign of things to come, then Harvard will surely be in for an exciting season. However, there is still a long journey before the Ivy League Championship in the
spring. This tournament win is sweet, but a victory at Ivies is definitely the main goal that everyone has in mind. “We’re pushing pretty hard,” Fairbairn said. “We’re pushing ourselves in practice, treating everyday as an opportunity to get better because we all know we have the talent to have a really great season. We know we
just have to keep working hard at it and good things will come.” The Crimson will hit the links three more times this fall. In a little over a week, the team heads up to New Hampshire for the Dartmouth Invitational at Hanover Country Club. It will look to continue its momentum from a very impressive season firstname.lastname@example.org
RIGHT DOWN THE FAIRWAY The Harvard men’s golf team opened its fall season with an impressive victory, which was its first tournament win since 2017. All five of their golfers finished in the top seven in terms of individual scoring. First-year Adam Xiao found himself at the top of the leader-board after the two day event. Courtesy of The ivy league