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The Unofficial Graduation Requirements

DISCLAIMER: These are older than your room in Apley. Respect them as you would any other Harvard tradition, but don’t be an idiot either. Some of these are just plain dumb to do during the pandemic! Wait until it’s safe... it’s hard to pee when you’re too stressed anyways.

1. Primal Scream 

If you’re not a fan of running laps, be consoled that you’ll be releasing weeks of pent-up tension preparing for finals as you streak around Harvard Yard at midnight. Take comfort in the fact that you’ll be accompanied by hundreds of naked classmates including, but not limited to,  section crushes, past hookups, and tourists pretending to be Harvard students.

Insider Tips

  • Strip down early. We can’t even begin to count how many people decide to do Primal Scream about 30 seconds before the runners begin their naked dash. Pro tip: take your clothes off completely before you even start moving a foot. If you fall behind the massive crowd because you’re taking off your clothes, you can recover. Sadly, you can’t recover from the scarring caused by dragging your junk across the asphalt when you trip over your own pants.
  • Avoid staring for prolonged periods of time. This is critical. You should do everything in your power to keep yourself from tarnishing the good name of Primal Scream; in other words, please avoid being one of the creeps who can’t keep their gaze to themselves. Make good decisions and avoid restraining orders.

2. Sex in the Stacks

We’re not sure if it’s the smell of dusty books, picturesque dim fluorescent lighting, or thrill of hiding from librarians, but there’s something ultra-romantic about the thought of getting it on in the subterranean labyrinth of Widener that appeals to Harvard students. Pro tip: avoid going in as a couple to avoid being followed by the puritan defenders of morality that are Widener’s professional bibliographers.

Insider Tips

  • Location, location, location. Go to the stacks in the main library to a section that no Harvard student would be caught dead in: we recommend Public Service Careers, Botany, or perhaps Advanced Horoscope Reading.
  • It’s all about timing. Go at the beginning of the semester on a Friday night before closing when everyone is busy not going to the library. Unless you’re hot. In this case, feel free to go at 3pm on a Wednesday.
  • Go in one at a time. This is Harvard, and you’ll learn quickly that the librarians are pretty damn smart. So when you and that one other good-looking person begin descending the stacks in search of that dusty ol’ tome on Peruvian Fungi, just know that you will. be. followed. Want to know what’s worse than death? Having a hookup interrupted by a grumpy grandmother who’s “too old for this shit.” To avoid this, go one at a time—give yourselves a seven-minute gap. 
  • Have a backup plan. Before you enter the library, have an ICE (in case of emergency) plan. And by emergency, we mean librarians and/or other students catching a glimpse of your nastiness. We recommend splitting up and acting as casual as possible, which brings us to our next point: DO NOT STRIP DOWN ENTIRELY.
  • Go and love yourself. Prime separately in a bathroom. Get hot n’ heavy before you meet up for the final kapow. Establish a pre-designated area because service is touch-and-go in Widez. Don’t act like you don’t know what we mean.
  • Be brave. Extra credit: Hide in the library and get locked in for the night. This probably won’t work, but if you and your boo could remain undetected until lockup, you could theoretically have the place to yourself for your endless sexual bidding. 

3. Peeing on the John Harvard Statue 

Hate all the tourists in the Yard even though they lowkey make you feel like you’re famous? Take the ultimate revenge by peeing on the iconic symbol of Harvard, the statue of three lies, the favorite spot of every family with an infant wearing a Harvard onesie: the John Harvard statue. Since public urination is a crime, we recommend that you check this off your bucket list in the wee hours of the morning.

Insider Tips

  • Breaking dawn. The best time to pee on good ol’ Johnny is between the hours of 4am and 5am. This is right before overachievers start heading to the gym and right after the security guards give no more fucks and head to bed.
  • It’s getting steamy. Only do this when it’s warm outside. We’ll repeat. If you attempt to pee on the statue when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, YOU ARE A DUMBASS. With its awkward angles and lack of grip, the statue is incredibly difficult to ascend. After drenching it in your own pee, dismounting from the slippery metal is even more treacherous. Pee + ice + shrinkage + ice + ice = disaster, y’all.
  • Get by with a little help from your friends. True story: some dude climbed the statue years ago (during the winter. Dumbass.), slipped, and broke his leg. He couldn’t walk back to his dorm in shame (see: broken leg), so he just waited for three hours until a security guard found him and called an ambulance. He told his TFs and his friends he got hit by a bus. But they knew. Oh, they knew. What was this section about? Ah, yes. Bring friends so they can get you help when you (inevitably) fall.
  • Girls just wanna have fun. (But can they?) If you are a girl, this task is immeasurably more difficult. We don’t know where you squat. We don’t know how you’ll dismount. We don’t even know if it’s possible to hit the foot. Ugh. Blame the patriarchy. Women have conquered the task, but… it ain’t easy. Mad respect if you do it, though. Break the glass ceiling one statue at a time.
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Rheede Erasmus,  Editor in Chief
Brammy Rajakumar, Publishing Director
Hannah Phan, Studio 67 Managing Director
The Unofficial Guide to Harvard Copyright © 2020 by Harvard Student Agencies, Inc., Burke-McCoy Hall, 67 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from Harvard Student Agencies, Inc. Photographs reproduced with permission from Austin Eder, Ronia Hurwitz, Lance Katigbak, Mark Kelsey, Cindy Niu, Winnie Wu, and Christina Yee. Printed in Canada by Friesens Corp. The Harvard name and/or VERITAS shield are trademarks of the President and Fellows of Harvard College and are used by permission of Harvard University. LEGAL DISCLAIMER. Although every effort was made to ensure that the following information was correct at the time of going to press, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any part for any loss or damage caused by errors, omissions, or any potential travel disruption due to labor or financial difficulty, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER. All advertisements appearing in Unofficial Publications are sold by an independent agency not affiliated with the editorial production of the guides. Advertisers are never given preferential treatment, and the guides are researched, written, and published independent of advertising. Advertisements do not imply endorsement of products or services by Unofficial Guides, and Unofficial Publications does not vouch for the accuracy of information provided in advertisements. If you are interested in purchasing advertising space in an HSA publication, contact: Studio 67, 67 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA, or