Last night [April 30] a Harvard security guard was assaulted by two men inside a freshman dormitory. While conducting a routine security check to ensure the safety of the dormitories, the guard encountered two men in the Straus Common Room who appeared not to be students. When the guard asked them to identify themselves, one of the men threw the guard against a wall, injuring his arm. The guard was able to subdue one of the men, who has been arrested. Police are searching for the other.
We want to express our concern for the guard. We also want to express our deep appreciation to him as well as the many other security officers who have been working long hours to maintain a safe environment in Harvard Yard under extremely trying conditions.
This incident, which is not the first, heightens our worries about security within Harvard Yard, and about the increased tension and turbulence that can result especially from the activities of individuals who are not members of the University community. We have communicated such concerns to the PSLM, and we ask the group’s cooperation in our efforts to address them. Meanwhile, as of the evening of Tuesday, May 1, people seeking to enter Harvard Yard between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. should be prepared to show a Harvard ID on request.
In addition, we have received increasing complaints from freshmen living in Yard dormitories about persistent noise from demonstrations and other events in the Yard. Since the sit-in began, we have been lenient about standard policies concerning amplification, postering, and public gatherings in the Yard. As reading period approaches, we believe that the overwhelming sentiment of Yard residents is that the right of the PSLM to have its case heard has been given much greater deference and respect than the right of the residents of Massachusetts Hall and nearby buildings to study and to sleep in peace and quiet. We ask the PSLM’s cooperation in ending its noisy gatherings soon, and in particular no later than this Saturday, when reading period begins and when student ArtsFirst performances in the Yard would be disrupted by amplified rallies.
We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the Harvard community in our efforts to restore a normal and peaceable collegiate environment within Harvard Yard.
Harry R. Lewis
Dean of Harvard College