Academic Support Network
Harvard College students are fortunate to have a variety of academic support resources at their disposal. The Bureau of Study Counsel arranges peer tutoring, provides academic counseling, and runs workshops on topics ranging from time management to test anxiety. The Writing Center, Math Question Center, and Language Resource Center assist students with their writing, math problem sets, and language study. The Advising Programs Office is an excellent source of information about academic advising and concentration selection. Finally, students who need academic (or other) accommodations for disabilities are encouraged to make use of the Accessible Education Office.
Athletics and Fitness
In addition to the Freshman Intramural Program, there are a number of ways in which students can participate in athletics and fitness. First-year students live within five minutes of two of Harvard’s largest recreational facilities, the Malkin Athletic Center and Hemenway Gymnasium, while many others are also within a short distance. In addition to offering 42 varsity-level sports, Harvard also boasts a vibrant club sports atmosphere as well. Undergraduate students are also admitted free of charge (with student ID) to all Crimson competitions at home, though the ticket office is a great resource for questions.
Harvard has a network of campus services that support students. ID Services, for instance, distributes and replaces student IDs. The Student Receivables Office (SRO) works in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office (FAO) to process student term bills, scholarships, loans, and tax forms. Transportation Services is responsible for parking on campus as well as the various shuttles (including the M2) and the tracker system. Harvard University Mail Services (HUMS) oversees the Science Center Mail Room but can also forward student mail during breaks and absences. The Harvard International Office provides services, ranging from visas and health insurance, to Harvard’s international students and scholars.
First-year students engage in a range of extracurricular activities. The introduction to extracurricular life at Harvard is at the Student Activities Fair during Opening Days, but beyond that the Student Activities Office oversees over 400 student organizations ranging from a cappella groups and to the Undergraduate Council, Harvard’s student government. Other organizations exist for student involvement including Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), which manages student-run dry cleaning and dorm essentials; the Institute of Politics (IOP), which brings to campus prominent public servants; the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), Harvard’s public service organization that includes the Public Service Network and the Center for Public Interest Careers; and the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, which is a resource for students of all sexualities. Many functions and student group meetings occur in the Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH), and policies (including publicity) for student groups are available in the handbook.
Health, Wellness, and Safety
The health and wellness of every student is important at Harvard. All undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the student health plan, ensuring access to all resources in University Health Services (UHS) including: the Center for Wellness, which offers programming from chair massages to acupuncture; Counseling and Mental Health Services, which offers confidential counseling; the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services (AODS), which assists students who may have substance use-related concerns; the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), which educates about prevention and supports students suffering from sexual assault; the Department of Health Promotion and Education (HPE) provides outreach and programming for students on many health and wellness topics including sleep, stress, sexual health, and body image. Finally, the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is responsible for all aspects of safety within the community.
Harvard College is a diverse environment and religious life is no exception. At the center of Harvard religious life is the Memorial Church, which holds morning prayers daily and service on Sundays. The Harvard Chaplains support over 20 religious groups ranging from Anglican and Humanist to Buddhist and Muslim, while Jewish students are invited to fellowship at Harvard’s Hillel. Students who are interested in interfaith dialogue and work are encouraged to check out the Interfaith Council.
While first-year students take the vast majority of their meals in historic Annenberg Dining Hall, there are a number of other meal options available through Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS), including the 12 upper-class Houses. Students on the run during the lunch hour often order a bagged lunch through Fly By or eat at one HUDS’ retail locations, such as the Greenhouse Café, paying with Crimson Cash or Board Plus. Finally, students who are interested in sustainable food practices and education around this topic should read about and consider joining the Food Literacy Project.
Study and Work at and beyond Harvard
The Office of Career Services is useful in finding summer internships or preparing for a job interview while the Office of International Education offers a variety of programs abroad during term-time or summer. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships helps students get connected with research opportunities and apply for national as well as Harvard-wide post-graduate fellowships and grants. Many students at Harvard either qualify for Federal Work Study jobs or wish to have a low-commitment job in addition to their studies. The Student Employment Office (SEO) is a great resource for finding on-campus jobs