“I’ve always had the feeling that there’s only so much of Harvard I can even get to know,” Francisco Perez ‘06 tells me. “People make so many assumptions [that] you have money, it’s amazing. If you don’t have it, then you’re not going to be able to participate.”
There is an unspoken code to all of this, first formed in the prep academies and magnet schools where so many were conditioned to this kind of privileged life, then refined and reinforced by the divisive institutions of our Harvard lives- from official policies and regulations to the student snobbery of final clubs and DormAid.(more in expanded post)
It seems our social life charges admission, literally. And so, still, does academic life, even for those on full financial aid: The lowest income students are required to work constantly to meet Harvard’s $3,500 “self-help” expectation or face down insurmountable debt after they graduate. Not a pretty picture.
I want to write more on what’s wrong with Final Clubs when I have some time this week (tonight, tomorrow maybe), but in the meantime, does anyone have any thoughts?