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Harvard Introduces New Caucuses For Underrepresented Students

Harvard University’s Undergraduate Council is taking steps to recognize the voices of underrepresented students. 

The undergraduate council voted this past week to establish caucuses for Afro-Latinx and Indigenous students and to pilot a new “Dean’s Dinners” program that will allow a randomly selected group of undergraduates to dine at Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair’s house this fall, The Harvard Crimson reports. 

“As the inheritors and torchbearers of deep-rooted and vulnerable ways of life, the Afro-Latinx community possesses a compelling interest in enhanced representation,” one of the UC acts reads.

MORE POWER TO CAUCUSES

Last year, Harvard’s Undergraduate Council approved legislation that allows caucuses to propose legislation and opens caucus membership to all Harvard undergraduates. The school’s caucus system aims to strengthen the council’s connections to affinity groups on campus.

Both the new Afro-Latinx and Indigenous student caucuses join  existing caucuses for underrepresented groups including the Black, Latinx, Asian-American, and First-Generation Low-Income caucuses.

PROMOTE DIVERSE DIALOGUE 

The new “Dean’s Dinners” program is inspired by Amherst College’s Pindar Field dinner series, which aims to encourage academic cultural dialogue by bringing students from different backgrounds and majors together. 

Harvard’s Undergraduate Council has allocated $1,200 to fund the new pilot dinner series. Five groups of 12 undergraduate students will be selected to participate in the program with the first dinner planned between October 18 and October 29. 

“Bringing together a randomly selected group of undergraduates for dinner could foster unexpected, diverse conversations and friendships,” the legislation reads.

Sources: The Harvard Crimson, The Harvard Crimson