Category Archive 'Harvard Crimson'

17 Oct 2019

Harvard Band Members Walk Out Following an Alumn’s Joke

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The Crimson won’t even tell us what he actually said.

Understandably. All those little millennial snowflakes melt whenever any old, white male says something transgressive and un-PC.

But, cheer up, the alumnus did grovel and confess his Speech Crime in the end. I guess he’ll just get a bit of political reeducation, they won’t have to harvest his organs after all.

More than 70 members of the Harvard Band walked out of a banquet celebrating the group’s centennial Saturday after an alumnus joked about the group’s decision to implement a sexual harassment policy.

At the banquet, former band member Richard “Rich” D. Horn ’72 began his speech with a joke about the group’s decision to implement the policy, which undergraduates distributed to alumni ahead of the reunion. As Horn continued to speak, roughly 75 attendees left the room, according to an emailed statement by the band’s senior staff. Many of those who walked out did not return for the remainder of the event.

Horn wrote in an email that he regrets that others interpreted his remarks as a criticism of the policy, which provides band members with a formal disclosure system to report incidences of sexual misconduct, according to a copy of the policy obtained by The Crimson.

“I sympathize with the frustration of decades of Band women in dealing with sexism both in the Band and elsewhere. I strongly support the Band’s sexual harassment policy and did not mean to imply otherwise,” he wrote. “I deeply regret any implication to the contrary. This is an issue on which emotions understandably and rightly run high, and I ought to have known better. Hopefully, I will do better in any future occasion.”

A separate speaker had also joked about the sexual harassment policy before Horn, according to the band’s staff. That speaker later apologized for his remarks, the band wrote in its statement.
After some attendees left the room, Harvard Band Foundation president Camaron “Cammie” S. O’Connor Wynn ’94 made an impromptu speech apologizing for the disruption, according to the band. O’Connor Wynn wrote in an email that band leadership, including both undergraduates and alumni, sought to address concerns about Horn’s comments both during and after the banquet.

“Attempts at humor by two brief (not primary) alumni speakers at our 100th reunion banquet touched on the Band’s sexual misconduct policy as a policy — in the sense of the necessity of censoring one’s own speech to fit with the new policy,” O’Connor Wynn wrote.
The Band’s senior staff wrote in an emailed statement that the sexual harassment policy previously caused controversy in the band’s alumni Facebook group when some alumni questioned the need for such a policy. The staff wrote that some alumni had written in the chat that the policy was “in contrast to the spirit of the band that they had known in their time.”

Band manager Lucaian Al-Tariq ’20 sent the emailed statement to The Crimson. Drill master Reese Garcia ’21, student conductor Marcos B. Cecchini ’21, drum major and Crimson multimedia editor Mariah E. D. Dimalaluan ’20, social chair Selket R. Jewett ’21, reunion manager Jessica D. Bishai ’20, and assistant reunion manager Jessica A. Boutchie ’21 also signed the statement.

“[M]uch has changed even within the past decade,” they wrote. “The jokes that were made may express discomfort in confronting this change; older alumni may have been surprised to see just how much the structure and nature of the Band have changed over time.”
“Both their discomfort and the reactions of the undergrads exemplify how deeply all generations of bandies care for this organization, despite its changes,” they added.

23 Sep 2019

Woke Snowflakes to the Harvard Lampoon: “That’s Not Funny!”

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The Harvard Lampoon today is a sinner in the hand of an angry Harvard Crimson Editorial Board.

Ten students recently protested one of the Harvard Lampoon’s comp meetings, condemning the undergraduate humor magazine for its insensitive content, and what they claim is a hostile and exclusive institutional culture.

As a Board, we applaud the protesters for standing up to the Lampoon. We condemn the magazine’s publication of offensive and culturally insensitive content and sympathize with the protesters’ claims that the organization has a hostile internal culture. We hope the Lampoon views the protests as impetus to work harder to build a better culture and better institutional pathways to screen their content before publication.

Last May, the Lampoon published an inappropriate, sexualized image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, which Director of Harvard Hillel Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg compared to the “obscenity of the Nazis.” This abhorrent incident was a striking dispay of hypersexualization and anti-Semitism, but must be understood as only one of many instances in which the Lampoon’s actions have peddled in such morally reprehensible sentiments as humor. The magazine has — in the past — made sexist jokes, from comparing women to dogs to insensitive jokes about University President Lawrence S. Bacow’s wife. And its insensitive content extends beyond the Anne Frank image as well, including an inappropriate joke about ISIS and minorities in final clubs. As if this smorgasbord of poor taste were not harmful enough, the Lampoon has also put out content trivializing a number of delicate issues such as suicide and fat-shaming.

The editors of the Lampoon said in a statement that their publishing process “lacks sufficient editorial oversight.” We believe this lack of oversight can lead to an inability to discern what kinds of humor are in poor taste.

We sympathize with the protesters and believe the Lampoon must take steps to address their concerns. And although the Lampoon has tried to take steps toward increasing diversity and accessibility — through steps such as newly instated positions to their Accessibility Council and Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training for new members — we believe these efforts are insufficient. The Lampoon should, in addition to OSAPR training for its members, require implicit bias training and should be more explicit about the ways their comp and internal culture have improved to avoid this in the future.

In seeking change at the Lampoon, we believe the student body has a huge amount of power. We call on students who are considering comping the Lampoon to consider the culture that has enabled the systemic production and amplification of offensive and culturally insensitive content. In so doing, we hope they either choose not to comp the Lampoon, or, in comping it, to demand change.

RTWT

The spirit of Cotton Mather rides again!

14 Dec 2014

Streaking, But No Silence, at Harvard

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PrimalScream
“Dean of College Rakesh Khurana attempts to gain the attention of the participants of Primal Scream by climbing onto the shoulders of a Primal Scream runner Thursday in Harvard Yard. Other students organized a protest in response to recent police brutality [in Ferguson, Missouri] that attempted to delay the start of the run.”

Primal Scream is a fairly recent (streaking era) Harvard tradition in which, on the last night of reading period, just before final exams start, Harvard students run naked across and then around Harvard Yard.

This year about 30 left-wing holier-than-thous tried to arrange a four-and-a-half minutes of silence prior to the Primal Scream naked run to protest the shooting of poor Michael Brown. Unfortunately, the more typical drunken and unruly Harvard students, bent upon streaking, objected to interference with the naked run, and proceeded to defy them, initiating the run, and chanting “USA!, USA!” while running.

The lefties grew angry and tried to block the naked runners, chanting “Black lives matter!”, while runners responded with obscenities and “USA!”, while ignoring them.

A number of Harvard administrators turned up to assist the protestors (not to run naked), and the best moment of comedy occurred when Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana climbed atop the shoulders of a naked young man, bullhorn in hand, tried, but failed, to persuade the crown to bow to the wishes of the leftie bedwetters,

Harvard Crimson:

Members of the protest said that they were upset by the reactions of the student streakers.

Amanda D. Bradley ’15, who helped organize the protest, said that while she did not know the intentions of the primal screamers, she felt disgusted by what they were chanting.

“For people to say black lives matter, and for the crowd to shout back ‘U.S.A.,’ which is upholding a system that is oppressing black people, I think that that is problematic,” she said.

Sasanka N. Jinadasa ’15 said she was appalled by what she called a disrespect both for Khurana and the protestors.

“I think that for many students of color, particularly black students, there’s always a fear of what white retaliation looks like,” she said, citing obscene gestures and language toward protesters.

Keyanna Y. Wigglesworth ’16, another protester, said she was “disturbed” and “angered” by reactions to the protest, especially from those in the front of the crowd of streakers who she believed could hear the calls for silence.

But, never fear, the pinkos at the Crimson were never going to let it be said that the left was defeated by youthful high spirits. It was all really a misunderstanding, you see.

Skip L. Rosamilia ’17, a Primal Scream participant, said that he could not hear or see through the crowd of streakers.

“I’m sad because it…look[ed] like there was one group who was for [the demonstration] and a huge group that wasn’t, and I don’t think that was the case,” he said, calling the interaction between the protest and the streakers a “huge egregious misunderstanding.”

Khurana also said many runners told him that they would have joined the protesting students if they had known about the demonstration.

“I think what it was, is just…a tight physical space and a relatively loosely structured event without actually clear planning,” Khurana said, noting that it was difficult for him mediate between the two groups of people.

Some students voiced similar concerns before the demonstration on the Facebook post for the event, saying that the protest would be disruptive to the College tradition of Primal Scream and potentially would risk student safety. As a result, organizers posted an update on the protest’s Facebook page saying that they had changed the nature of the protest from a die-in to a moment of silence out of safety concerns and in an effort to preserve the Primal Scream tradition.

Though Walker, one of four principal organizers of the protest, acknowledged Thursday afternoon that there “was some confusion as to what was going on and not a lot of individuals knew what was happening,” he said he thought the protest was a success.

“The event was successful because it started a conversation in communities that haven’t been talking about this.”


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