Harvard Freshmen Pressured to Sign Dastardly Kindness Oath

Hark! New students at Harvard are being asked to sign some sort of weird, quazi-mandatory integrity pledge. What’s the deal with that?

Via the Crimson:

The “Class of 2015 Pledge” committed students to transforming Harvard into a “place where all can thrive and where the exercise of kindness holds a place on par with intellectual attainment.”

The pledge is technically voluntary, but for god-knows-what reason, administrators are displaying the signed copies in the dorms’ doorways — and nobody wants to be the one asshole who’s like, “Yeah, fuck integrity!” during their first week of college, so everyone is signing. Something something lemmings peer pressure something McCarthy HUAC.

The pledge has garnered support from the administration, which likes the idea of students displaying a little bit of goddamned courtesy every once in a while, you know? To wit: Dean of Freshman Thomas Dingman voiced concern that some Harvard community members are no longer “thoughtful or considerate in their actions with their peers.” Which, haha, no shit.

At the same time, however, the initiative has generated some criticism from a notable source — former dean Harry R. Lewis, who said the matter is “very unlike Harvard.” While we’re sure he probably meant the “mandatory pledge” part, we still like to imagine that he read the phrase “exercise of kindness,” threw down his copy of the Crimson and began ferociously scribbling on a legal pad while shaking his head and muttering curses under his breath.

This article originally stated that Harvard freshmen were hanging the pledges in their own doorways. In reality, the pledges will be signed in each dorm’s entryway, which the copy of this article now reflects. Whoops!

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