It turns out that the Harvard University has been abuzz over a construction sign erected on campus. The sign encouraged the workers to be respectful of the students and professors of the university and abstain from swearing, making loud noises, and taking drugs and / or alcohol. The students protested and the sign was removed:
Sandra Y. L. Korn ’14 called the sign “ridiculous” and said that it made her uncomfortable because it was “patronizing and patriarchal” towards the construction workers. “It sets up Harvard as some sort of exceptional place where no one can swear because they are defiling the purity of Harvard,” said Korn, a Crimson editorial editor. Avinaash Subramaniam ’14 said that he was “shocked” by the sign and that it held workers to a different standard than Harvard students.
Of course, to be completely honest, there is a huge difference between the workers and the students on campus. The former are paid for being there while the latter pay huge sums of money to do so. This is something that the earnest little undergrads don’t seem to understand:
Avinaash Subramaniam ’14 said that he was “shocked” by the sign and that it held workers to a different standard than Harvard students.
“There are students who drink and smoke at Harvard and the final clubs blast music late at night,” he said. “How is it any less wrong when Harvard students do drugs?”
When this student graduates and finds himself in the workplace, I hope it doesn’t come as too much of a shock that his customers, clients, students, patients, etc. will have a lot more rights in his workplace than he will.
What I find especially cute about the article is how well the students pretend not to know why they even are at Harvard:
Although the University did not put up the sign, Divinity School student Hanna L. Hofheinz said it bears equal responsibility for the sign’s message.
“I think that the sign was expressive of class and social dynamics that too often are part of the Harvard ethos,” she said. “I expect more from Harvard than to allow this type of statement to be its public face.”
As if there was any reason to shell out huge sums of money to go to an Ivy League institution than a hysteric fear of downward social mobility. You don;t go to such places for an education per se. For the most part, you’ll be taught by bored and indifferent grad students, anyways, and not by actual professors. The only reason of going there is to meet the right sort of people. If you are not into that, you’ll waste your time and money.
The reason why I quote this article here is that when I was a student at my Ivy, the attitudes evinced by these students were precisely what drove me nuts. I could have put up with the low quality of instruction, with the rigid hierarchies, with snobbery, with being surrounded by “legacies” with no interest whatsoever in studying, with endless discussions of who bought what when and where, with very little intellectual stimulation. But it’s the annoying earnestness of these rich kids who go around quoting Marx and blabbing about social equality and class struggle that got to me.
“There is no difference between me and a truck driver because we are both working people,” a spoiled Pappa’s boy who spent his summer holidays traveling the world on his parents’ money at the age of 35 told me. Is anybody surprised that I had a major depression at the end of my schooling in such an environment?