Harvard claims to adhere to a basic framework of values in its labor practices. But these are poorly defined and all too nebulous. They include the intangible commitment to “honesty and integrity in all dealings,” and an obligatory “respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others.”
Harvard’s administration and its students have already acknowledged responsibility for the impact of our consumption, investment, and contracting policies. From fair trade to divestment, from a living wage to a sustainable Allston, there is a tradition and a belief that Harvard should not allow financial strategies to undermine human rights or basic dignity. As interim University President Derek C. Bok himself noted just last week at a student forum, “Universities are simply not a business. Their central focus is not profit and loss.”
Harvard's consumption of Allston certainly is having an impact!