I have walked through Harvard Yard countless times in my blessedly long life. Both as an employee of Harvard for thirty-three years and as a Cambridge resident for decades, I have had countless reasons to walk through those “hallowed” grounds.
But on a rainy, cold November morning, as I walked to the nine o’clock class I am auditing, the gate I normally go through to get into Harvard Yard was locked. Late, as usual, I had to hustle to a more central gate where I was stopped by security and asked for my Harvard I.D.
Earlier that week, I had walked to class through my usual gate and by a peaceful demonstration on the steps of Widener library, a reading of the names and ages of Palestinians who have perished in the war thus far.
Two days later, I found closed gates and tightened security. I have no idea if there had been threats of violence or it was just cautionary.
Either way, it’s so, so sad.