To Occupy Harvard, You Need a Valid Harvard ID

Updated. Three hundred protesters marched through Cambridge, Massachusetts last night. Their goal: Occupying Harvard Yard. Arriving at the edge of campus, the protesters found the University's gates locked and guarded by a phalanx of campus police. Boston's CBS affiliate reports:

School officials say they wanted to keep people who were not Harvard students out, but many protesters pushed at the gates while holding up Harvard IDs.

A couple dozen students ultimately ended up in Harvard Yard, occupying the elite university they attend, in tents.

After staring at that sentence for several minutes, I have concluded that there is simply no way to untangle this strange knot of cultural paradox and conflicting power dynamics. Fingers crossed that Goldman Sachs has on-campus recruiting scheduled soon. [CBS Boston, image via WBUR]

Update 1: A source from within the belly of the occupied beast informs us that Goldman recruitment was last week. UBS is this afternoon and Citi is tomorrow, though. Hang on for a week, and Romney money machine Bain Capital will be on campus!

Update 2: Harvard officials explain their policies on Occupy Harvard in a mass email:

From: Harvard Provost Alan Garber & EVP Katie Lapp
Date: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 1:35 PM
Subject: Update on Access to Harvard Yard
To: [redacted]

Dear Members of the Harvard Community:

Last night, several hundred demonstrators converged on the Harvard campus to express their support for the Occupy movement. The demonstrators consisted of people from within and outside the Harvard community. At the conclusion of the evening, Harvard students erected tents in the Yard, which remained through the night. We are writing now to explain the principles that have informed, and will continue to inform, our response to these activities.

First, we respect and protect the rights of members of the Harvard community to express their views on matters of public debate. These rights, of course, are tempered by the rights of other members of our community to express their views, and for all of us to live, study, and work in an educationally appropriate environment. Last night, people with Harvard identification were permitted access to the Yard and, consistent with our values as an educational institution, had the ability to demonstrate, to speak, and to engage in other expressive conduct.

Second, the University has a fundamental obligation to be attentive to the safety, security, and well-being of its students, faculty, and staff on campus. The events of last night raised safety concerns: the number of demonstrators was large, many of the demonstrators were not from Harvard, and specific behaviors were troubling. For this reason, the University took what we consider to be appropriate security precautions as the situation evolved during the evening.

The decision by students and other members of the Harvard community to erect tents in the Yard will require that the University continue with heightened security measures for the time being. Most important, no one without Harvard identification will be permitted into the Yard. We recognize and apologize for the inconvenience this will cause to students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. Securing access to the Yard is necessary for the safety of the freshmen and others who live and work in the Yard, for the students who will be sleeping outdoors as part of the protest, and for the overall campus.

Sincerely,

Alan Garber
Provost

Katie Lapp
Executive Vice President