PORN WITH STUDENTS AT HARVARD

Autor: Matt Kinnaman Fuente: Massachusetts News

Harvard occupies rarified air at the pinnacle of higher education. According to one of its official publications, it is "the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States…Seven presidents of the United States - John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George W. Bush - were graduates of Harvard. Its faculty have produced nearly 40 Nobel laureates."

Beyond its own self-promotion, Harvard is traditionally recognized as the proudest and greatest institution of higher education in America . But today, Harvard's faculty leadership is blazing a prurient trail that leaves Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson in the dust. In the aftermath of a Super Bowl half-time show so puerile and embarrassing almost no one's mentioned the actual game since, Harvard's Committee on College Life, a student/faculty committee overseen by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has approved the publication of a student magazine offering nude photos of undergrads along with articles about sex.

The University's approval of the student porn magazine was effectively unanimous. Twelve members of the 14-person committee are in favor of the publication. Two members abstained.

The new Harvard-sanctioned mag will be called "H Bomb."

H Bomb is the creation of two Harvard students, Katharina C. Baldegg '06 and Camilla A. Hrdy '05. Their publication venture is assisted by a faculty advisor, Professor of Psychology Marc D. Hauser. Hauser teaches a course called "Evolution of Human Nature," also known among students by its slang title, "Sex."

Harvard is being careful to preserve some decorum, though. Apparently, the publishing of porn, Ivy League-style, necessitates adherence to certain notions of propriety. Assistant Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin points out that students will not be able to snap nude pictures inside of Harvard buildings. And Harvard won't "necessarily" help pay for the publication, but the dean didn't rule out the possibility. "They will still have to go through the granting application process," he said. Other cautions are also being carefully observed. H Bomb's guiding principles dictate that "Only students of the College will be posing for the magazine's photographs and they will all be 18 or older."

According to H Bomb co-founder Hrdy, "initially there was some concern about the nudity aspect," but the University's overseers "got past the fear of porn." The magazine's editorial inclusiveness must have satisfied the Ivory Tower's contemporary concern for diversity. "It's a sex magazine that will hopefully be run by students of all sexual orientations and backgrounds," Baldegg said.

"We are aware of the fact that some segments of the population would find the contents distasteful," said Harvard's Associate Dean Judith H. Kidd, "However, the committee considered this to be an issue of freedom of speech."

As its own literature explains, " Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown , a young minister who, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half his estate to the new institution."

Prominently situated in front of University Hall, in Harvard Yard, there is a statue of John Harvard, sculpted by Daniel Chester French. Watching over the university from his pedestal, the founder rests his right hand on an open Bible.

Harvard's motto is " Veritas " (Truth). It is taken from the university's original motto " Veritas pro Christo et ecclesia " (Truth for Christ and his Church.) The original version still appears on some gates at Harvard and in buildings on campus.

Harvard claims to cherish its academic and spiritual heritage. It's current promotional literature refers to an early description of the University's mission: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches."

Meanwhile, the first issue of H Bomb, with student nudity proudly displayed, may be available in time for this year's commencement. "I guess student porn is sort of an underground thing," Baldegg said at one point. Not anymore, Katharina. At Harvard, it's now mainstream. Veritas ?

Matt Kinnaman is a resident of Lee who ran for the U.S. Congress in the last election.
http://www.massnews.com/2004_editions/02_February/022204_porn_with_students_at_harvard.htm
 
 
 
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