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Student Activists at Harvard Want the Board of Overseers to Change its Name

Student Activists at Harvard Want the Board of Overseers to Change its Name

“cannot be separated from its historical context and connotations”

The students claim that the word ‘overseer’ has a connection to slavery. Seems like a bit of a stretch, no?

The College Fix reports:

Harvard activist group wants Board of Overseers name changed — because slavery

A Harvard University activist group wants the name of the school’s Board of Overseers changed due to the last word’s connection to slavery.

According to The Crimson, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard noted “overseer” has “historically referred to men hired by plantation owners to violently control slaves.”

The Board of Overseers is Harvard’s “second-highest governing body.” The Coalition, which advocates “diversity, equity, and inclusion” at the school, has sought the name change for three years.

Coalition board member Jane Sujen Bock said many Board of Overseer candidates “had not previously considered the ramifications of the title’s link to slavery.” The five candidates supported by the Coalition support a name change.

As you might expect, Bock cited the current “anti-racist” atmosphere in the country as leading to a “greater push” for a new name.

From the story:

Harvard Forward, a student and alumni group working to bring attention to climate change and recent alumni representation within Harvard’s governance boards, said they found the term “Overseers” to be “problematic” in a Wednesday Instagram post.

“The term ‘Overseer’ cannot be separated from its historical context and connotations. The continued use of a word characterized by such deep-rooted racism is a testament to Harvard’s failure to confront our country’s history,” they wrote.


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Every time I think I’ve heard the stupidest thing ever…

But really this is no stupider than the old feminist myth about the term “rule of thumb”, or complaints in the ’80s about “black holes” and black garbage bags. Or the complaints about the color of the colonist markets in the board game “Puerto Rico”.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 19, 2020 at 9:56 am

Shut up, and, either get back to class or change schools.

It seems they’re going for making any word implying a person may order another (overseer, master, boss?) “problematic”.

    MajorWood in reply to randian. | July 20, 2020 at 1:16 am

    They should just get back to mental equalbating or whatever they did before inflicting themselves on us 24/7.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | July 19, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Got their new name for them

“Chit City.”

Look up the term.

Since it’s inseparably linked with the system of enslavement, we’d better cancel the word “plant.”

mochajava76 | July 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

It’s amazing that old words are given any meaning today and the original meaning is overlooked.

In the New Testament, the greek word “episkopos” is used as a leadership term, and is interpreted as overseer, elder and bishop.

The synagogue of early CE had the “tradition of the elders”

I’m aware of synchronic and diachronic approaches to meaning, but to sweep away the diachronic meaning and changes of a term by imputing violence in the meaning that the vast majority do not recognize is ridiculous.

As an alumnus, I am sick and tired of the nation’s most famous university being jerked around by tiny groups of malcontents! This is particularly maddening when there are almost no students in Cambridge, yet cowardly administrators are still terrified of angering the mob. Worse, the shutdown means that there is no possibility of any group opposing the radicals to coalesce. If Presidet Bacow and company don’t have any courage left, I’m sure that others can be found who would be willing to do the job.

harleycowboy | July 22, 2020 at 12:44 pm

How about UberFurher?