Just not the kind he was hoping for.
Confused Princeton freshman and radio-faced beauty Tal Fortgang has unequivocally overdrafted on his fifteen minutes of fame, but a change to one Harvard school's freshman orientations could mean his tone-deaf, entitled redefinition of "checked privilege" will have impact on Ivy Leaguers for as long as kids think their grandparents' struggles preclude their own institutional advantages or that endless training is to credit for beating a one-legged man.
In a victory for modern viral media, the Harvard Kennedy School has decided to add Checking Your Privilege 101 to its orientation for first year students, citing a flurry of interest given the recently distributed letter by our favorite Tiger. This is of course good news. Harvard really didn't maximize on Princeton Mom mania when she was being lampooned, so I applaud their decision here.
Last month, they held a privilege walk: 77 students occupied the school's courtyard, where two facilitators led a "privilege visualization exercise."
Perhaps they provided mirrors to the white students?
Reetu Mody, a first-year masters student in public policy also thinks the Harvard Kennedy School is a perfect place to begin a course of this nature:
She says most of the resistance to discussing privilege comes from those who (mistakenly) believe it's about making individuals feel guilty. That's why Mody thinks Kennedy School of Government makes a good pilot program for institutionalized privilege-checking. For them, examining the world and your position in it isn't just a feel-good liberal intellectual exercise; it's a practical tool for people who hope to be leaders.
Or you know, for those kids whose parents buy their way to admittance, too. It's really perfect for everyone!
Joking aside, this really is cool news. Students need to know how they really fit into the world, which includes the advantages they have over other people. As the article alludes to, this is in many ways a reaction to the "you're special just the way you are. You can achieve anything you want to achieve" mentality that millennials (like me) grew up hearing on a daily basis. Having taken the sentiment to heart, some of us seem to have ruled out any cause other than ourselves for our successes.
I leave you with this: