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Alright, I know I'm on foreign territory here, and I don't mean to step on any toes (sorry.), but I've heard that there are three things any upstanding Harvard student should do before they graduate: take place in the primal scream, be, um, naughty in the Widener stacks, and pee on the John Harvard statue. To my understanding, peeing on the statue is quite prevalent. I was wondering if anyone else, particularly any Harvard students, finds it as incredibly offensive as I do that there is a tradition to pee on that oh-so-famous foot that tour guide recommend tourists and prospective students rub for good luck?
To me, it just seems so arrogant and degrading as to be beyond belief. It's tough for me to articulate this, but I mean, all these tourists, many who basically see Harvard as the symbol of success, just want to share in a small part of Harvard's greatness by taking part in this tradition. All the prospective students who would kill (or kill themselves working) to earn a spot at Harvard just want a little extra luck so that they might be fortunate enough to be classmates with Harvardians. I guess my basic point is that these tourists and these prospective students look up to the Harvard kids. And it just seems so callous for those Harvard kids to pee on that statue, because it seems to me like it is a deliberate mocking of those tourists, and it seems like it is peeing on the aspirations of those students. It seems like the ultimate gesture of superiority and the ultimate slap in the face to those who dream of being like them.
I know this is a rather peculiar question, and I want to say again that no offense was intended. Is it just a thoughtless tradition? Do some people try to stop it? Is it done with deliberate malice or just drunken insensitivity?