Harvard Cuts The Little Things

Posted by at 3:33PM

And we thought we were unique: Harvard, too, in the wake of losing a similar percentage of its endowment, has slashed its budget in all kinds of places. The latest victims? Hot breakfasts on weekends and cookies at faculty meetings.
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The New York Times reports
that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences–Harvard’s name for its school of Humanities and Sciences–is facing a deficit of $130 million, has cut $75 million already, and will soon cut more.


The Times also makes sure to note that other schools–including Stanford–have suffered similar cuts:
Harvard is not the only elite university where student life is more austere this fall: Princeton has closed some computer labs, and one of its dining halls on Saturdays. At Stanford, the annual Mausoleum Party, a Halloween gathering at the Stanford family burial site, lost $14,000 in financing and might be canceled.
While the Mausoleum Party is, indeed, in peril, there are other more noteworthy Stanford cuts that have been made: the Bing Overseas Seminar program has just been canceled, a variety of popular classes have been cut or reduced (see: Drama 103), and already underfunded undergraduate advising has been further reduced (including the loss of the somewhat useless PM and HPAC positions). Overall, Stanford has pledged to cut $100 million from the $800 million General Funds budget, the budget that pays for most of the day-to-day activities that will affect students. This is a much higher figure (12.5 percent, and yes I did that math in my head) than President Hennessy’s original proposals of 3 percent, 5 percent, or–in the extreme–cuts of up to 7 percent.
Luckily, these deep cuts so far have, as far as I can tell, not been as intrusive as Harvard’s in terms of affecting students. Weekend brunch remains intact; the library’s hours, while shorter than last year’s, are still better than they used to be; and student groups can still attempt to navigate the bureaucracy and attempt to find funding somewhere even though there is less to be given out. Student life should, and hopefully will, remain a priority–after all, there’s a reason we don’t go to Harvard.

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