The Harvard Crimson :: Opinion :: A President of the Community

The Harvard Crimson :: Opinion :: A President of the Community

Excerpts from an opinion article by Rachel M. Singh, Harvard ’10, a Crimson editorial editor:

The next president should mend our community image and prioritize student interests

Richard Harding, Jr. of the Cambridge Public School Committee has blamed Harvard for doing little to help local poor and under-performing public schools. “I really need to know what the hell are they doing for us,” he said. Ten years after covertly buying land in Allston, Harvard has yet to publicize how its expansion will affect local residents. Community meetings and donations to build a library are no more than an excellent public relations campaign if the University ends up driving out residents.

We must repair our image in our neighborhood and defy stereotypes about the Harvard bubble and its self-interested policies. The integrity of this institution rests not just on tallying up its Nobel Prize count, but also in the fair treatment of its workers and in its social and environmental responsibility to the community.

Similarly, the president must not weigh Harvard’s global prestige before its responsibility to its community, both in and outside its walls.

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