Putting the `Harvard'in the Harvard Ball

HBS students took their effort to attract a broader base of Harvard graduate students to the European Club’s Harvard Ball to the Harvard Graduate Council last week, when the University-wide body held its regular meeting on the Allston campus for the first time this year.
Tiberius Vadan (OI) and Gail Hodges (NA) told the council’s members about the general theme of the ball and asked the representatives to help publicize the event by placing posters around the other graduate school campuses. They also discussed how students at other schools can buy tickets.

Vadan acknowledged that the $100 per person price for the black-tie ball that will be held at the Westin Copley Hotel may be too steep for students at other schools who are not used to such expensive social events. But he said that since the contract with the hotel was signed months ago, it is too late to change the charges this year.
Still, Vadan and Hodges expressed the hope that some students from other schools would “cross-register” at the Vienna-themed ball and that that participation would be a launching pad for an even broader representation in future years.

In other news of interest to students across the University, HGC Vice President for Student Affairs Chris Wheat, a fourth-year student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said a committee formed to investigate Harvard’s employment and contracting policies is readying a preliminary look at the data it has gathered. The findings will be discussed at an open meeting at the Kennedy School’s ARCO Forum tonight (Oct. 22) at 6 p.m.

The committee was formed last spring, after dozens of students, mostly from the undergraduate Harvard College, occupied administration offices in Harvard Yard to demand that the University pay its workers no less than a “living wage” of slightly more than $9/hour.

As part of the resolution that ended the sit-in, the University agreed to review its practices, while not abandoning its stance that benefits, like free tuition, offered to workers already raised the value of their compensation significantly.

The agenda items for last week’s meeting were not atypical for the Graduate Council, which exists to foster communication among the University’s graduate schools, which range from HBS, the Law School and Kennedy School to the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Dentistry, Design, Divinity, Education, Medicine, and Public Health.

In addition to “breaking issues,” council leaders said they have been engaged in a long-term effort to make cross-registration easier. Although one major impediment to cross-registration-the fact that different graduate schools have different academic calendars-remains, they noted that a major recent gain has made the different schedules easier to obtain.

HBS holds two slots on the council. Second-year senators Michael Dal Bello (OC) and Meg Stern (OK) represent the school.