Based on the conviction that Harvard is a sum greater than its parts, the Freshman Dean’s Office sponsors a variety of activities, beginning during Opening Days and continuing throughout the year, designed to build community among the first-year class and highlight its rich diversity.
All of these programs are designed to help first-year students get to know one another and build connections within and across multiple forms of diversity such as nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, physical ability, and religion. If you have a suggestion for an event, please contact the Director for Community and Diversity Programs.
During Opening Days, Community Conversations are held to provide students with a chance to consider their own background, values, and experiences, as well as discuss ideas of identity and diversity with their entryway, faculty, and administrators
Community and Diversity Programs
Students are offered opportunities during the academic year to learn about the rich diversity of the first-year class through monthly events. Diversity is celebrated in community with other students, faculty, and staff. Recent events include:
- Group outing to Trans Scripts, a show at the American Repertory Theater about the rich and diverse experiences of transgender women
- What is God?, a panel discussion with chaplains and student leaders in the Interfaith Council
- Halloween Happy Hour dinner and discussion about costumes, culture, and exotification
- Coffeehouse-style celebration of Black History Month
- Panel discussion about environmental justice with the Dr. Atyia Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston
- Creation of a quilt for ARTS FIRST 2017 on feelings of belonging and inclusion titled, “I am Here!”
In addition to their regular duties in the entryways, specialty proctors are responsible for providing class-wide programming in a variety of areas including race relations, BGLTQ life, public service, and CARE (consent advocates and relationship educators). Students may also consider connecting with our First-Generation and Low-Income Student Advocate, who will be accessible to all students as another trustworthy adviser throughout the year.
Beyond the Freshman Dean’s Office, a variety of offices at Harvard support students as they contemplate and engage in the rich diversity of the College community. For instance, the Harvard College Women’s Center and Office of BGLTQ Student Life focus on issues of gender and sexuality, while the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations promotes dialogue and understanding around race and ethnicity. The Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs supports all student communities, including first generation and undocumented students.The Harvard Chaplains, located in Memorial Church, support the diverse religious life at Harvard, and the Accessible Education Office provides academic, extracurricular, and housing accommodations to students with disabilities.