To the Editor:
In your most recent edition, Erin Archerd wrote an article in which Erin describes in great detail what is currently missing from Harvard Law School. She listed: free copies, free water, free public transportation, better tampons, a financial advisor, better bathrooms, cloth towels, perfume, deodorant, combs, tissues, hand moisturizer and mini toothbrushes, just to name of few. She points out that these missing items reduce the quality of life for the students, and she argues that the administration should address these concerns. Let’s see if our silent Dean acts on Erin’s modest requests.
Erin further asks why students in the HLS dorms have to pay for their laundry, while those at Stanford do not. She asks why the quality of those items currently provided (i.e. tampons) are so poor. Again, let’s see if the administration addresses Erin’s kind suggestions.
Yet as spring arrives on campus, and thoughts turn to graduation for those who are ready to depart; perhaps one more request should be publicized for student benefit, and added to Erin’s list. For years now, HLS students have finished their last classes and exams, and have then packed, and moved across country (or around the world) to get to the location where they were to start their careers. Then, if they and their families could afford it, they would fly or drive back to the Harvard campus, to go through the often delayed ceremony. Unfortunately, due to the ever increasing tuition at Harvard Law School (thanks Dean), many students could not afford to return for the ceremony; and thus had the honor of missing the graduation ceremony that they had worked so hard to earn. Likewise, their families were denied the honor of attending the ceremony, often due to cost, often due to time, and sometimes due to lack of tickets.
So perhaps one final item could be added to Erin’s list: Namely that a graduation ceremony, unique to Harvard Law School, could be held immediately after the last day of school, without limiting the number of tickets, without delay, and with no cost to HLS or the students. One location could be the steps of Austin Hall, the metaphoric building that has always represented the best and worst of HLS. The students could then point out to their visiting families, the tortured Freddy Krueger like faces (Nightmare on Elm Street) of current and former students that have been carved into the outside of Austin Hall by some unseen force of nature. They could show their families where their own suffering faces are now etched in stone; and explain to the young ones how they were absorbed into the “Borg” (Star Trek) of Harvard Law School. There upon those mighty granite steps, the students could gather one last time; to reflect on how lucky they were to be together for 3 years at Harvard, and how unlucky they will be to pay back their heavy debts for the next ten years.
Erin’s requests cost little to grant, but one may doubt that the Dean will listen to Erin’s suggestions. Likewise, to those poor 3L graduates who cannot afford to remain or return to Cambridge for graduation; let me kindly offer you all of the best, when you go to your mailbox at your new home, to receive the diploma that you worked so hard for. Bless you, and know that somebody cares.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,Charles Facktor (HLS 1990)