Harvard University is a great institution even though it may have lost its way from its founding as a training school for minsters. Their spokespersons have a standard response whenever someone wants Harvard to honor its obligations, its promises, it contracts.
“Harvard’s buildings are intended to support its core mission of teaching, learning and research, and that involves maintaining living space for students and faculty, labs and research facilities, classrooms and library spaces, as well as space for administrative and support services,” a spokesperson from Harvard said in a prepared statement.
No one can doubt that is true. Harvard's mission is as stated, focused on education and support for education. However in previous activities when Harvard was advancing its core mission of education and support thereof, they encountered some law or ordinance. In order to be allowed to ignore the laws and/or the ordinances, Harvard offered a concession, a trade. "We will give you this consideration if you let us violate that law or ordinance." In City government it is often called a variance. They can vary from the rules of the ordinance without penalty. Previously Harvard made many promises at hearings before various city boards and commissions. After a few years pass the people who attended those meetings are dead, moved or no longer attend the meetings. Harvard representatives also change. They seldom are aware of the past. If they know of it they do not include it in their discussions.
As in this case they pretend that anything outside of their core mission is a burden and unjustified obligation imposed on them by uncaring selfish members of the dreaded "community" (the term Harvard has for those awful people who have no Harvard affiliation).
When the earlier promise, consideration given in trade for a variance, becomes inconvenient, Harvard just changes the focus to make it appear as if they are the offended party, the victim of outsider avarice. This is an example.
Cambridge residents, councilors wary of Harvard’s plan for senior housing
By Erin Baldassari ebaldassari (at) wickedlocal.com
Posted Feb 22, 2013 @ 11:49 AM