Speed Reads

Awkward

Harvard apologizes for holiday placemats that bashed conservatives

Undergraduates at Harvard University found a new feature in their dining halls last week: "Holiday Placemats for Social Justice" issued by the school administration to direct students' discussion of race-related issues with conservative family members over the holiday break. The placemats offered talking points in four categories: "Yale/Student Activism," “Black Murders in the Street,” “House Master Title,” and “Islamophobia/Refugees.”

After uproar ensued on campus and online, with critics arguing that placemats' phrasing was unfair and not conducive to productive conversation, two deans issued a joint apology. The placemats "failed to account for the many viewpoints that exist on our campus," they wrote, and to "suggest that there is only one point of view on each of these issues runs counter to our educational goals."

The Harvard College Republicans, meanwhile, created their own placemat graphic explaining to school administrators that Harvard students can think for themselves. The club tweeted its version in parallel with the original.