Archive for the ‘Campus News’ Category

By Jacob M. Victor

Jacob M. Victor ’09 attends Harvard College and is a Social Studies concentrator living in Leverett House.

When Mark Twain coined the famous phrase “familiarity breeds contempt” he was describing the human tendency to look down upon those closest to us. Unfortunately the opposite is also true: a constant exposure to familiar ideas often leads us to become more and more disdainful of the viewpoint furthest from our own

At Harvard, over the past year, this tendency has taken a dangerous new turn. While Harvard’s pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups all invited many interesting, thoughtful speakers throughout the year, these events were trumped by two speakers who were chosen because they presented the views familiar to each side in an unfamiliar form. Both these speakers were chosen because of their unusual identities, rather than the substance of their scholarship.



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Circle of Women

By Cristina M. Ros

Cristina M. Ros ’08 attends Harvard College and is a Comparative Study of Religion concentrator (with a focus on Islam and Christianity) living in Quincy House

Most Harvard students agree that the best education comes from classmates. On a late Thursday night in March 2006, B. Britt Caputo ’08 and Clotilde Dedecker ’09 sat in a dorm room and discussed how they could make a difference. They brought a powerful combination of ideas: Caputo wanted to use the bountiful resources available to Harvard students to benefit society; Dedecker had previously founded the Buffalo School Coalition, which helped build a girls’ school in the rural town of Wonkhai in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province, while she was in high school.

After learning about Caputo’s enthusiasm and Dedecker’s experience, I dove into the effort. I am a child of Cuban immigrants and I have been raised to value education as the one asset that no one can take away. Dedecker and Caputo both attended girls’ schools through high school, and credit their successes to the leadership, confidence and competence that these institutions foster. We have all enjoyed vast educational opportunities we know from experience how precious those opportunities have been.


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