The Ivy League school Harvard University is now encouraging its students to start using food stamps rather than spend money on food.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, a flier for an event hosted earlier this year by Harvard’s Health Services asks students “did you know that Grad Students may qualify to receive assistance paying for food & groceries?”
This development has resulted in backlash against the university, as it boasts the world’s largest academic endowment, at a staggering $53 billion. In addition to the endowment, Harvard also receives federal funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year, primarily for research purposes.
Furthermore, graduate students at the university have recently demanded that their $40,000 annual salary be increased by $20,000; the Harvard Graduate Students Union has since gone on strike over their demands for a $60,000 salary. This contradicts the notion that the university is struggling with finances to the point that students would be better off seeking an aid program for food rather than just paying for it themselves.
Harvard is also dealing with the fallout from two Supreme Court cases, one of which involved Harvard itself, which struck down the practice of affirmative action. With the ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the high court determined that it was unconstitutional for colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education to admit applicants based solely on race. To circumvent the new law, Harvard has suggested that it will try to determine applicants’ race based on their personal essays.
Lawrence Bacow, the president of Harvard, said in a statement that the court “ruled that colleges and universities may consider in admissions decisions ‘an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.’”