December 16, 2015
Dear Harvard College students,
We write to acknowledge that the placemat distributed in some of your dining halls this week failed to account for the many viewpoints that exist on our campus on some of the most complex issues we confront as a community and society today. Our goal was to provide a framework for you to engage in conversations with peers and family members as you return home for the winter break, however, it was not effectively presented and it ultimately caused confusion in our community. On behalf of the Office of Student Life and the Freshman Dean’s Office, we offer our sincere apologies for this situation.
Academic freedom is central to all that Harvard College stands for. To suggest that there is only one point of view on each of these issues runs counter to our educational goals. We appreciate the feedback that we have received about this initiative. Moving forward we will, with your continued input, support the growth and the development of independent minds.
Dean of Student Life
Dean of Freshmen