House ‘masters’ at Harvard to change title because it reminds students of slavery

House ‘masters’ at Harvard to change title because it reminds students of slavery

[Ed. – Communications devices, which use terms slave and master, are also now barred from campus.]

The masters of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate residential Houses have unanimously agreed to change their title, a term that some students criticize as associated with slavery and has come under scrutiny as debates about racism take hold of college campuses nationwide.

College and House administrators will soon meet to select a new name to replace the “House master” title, according to Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who informed the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the decision at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. Khurana, himself a master of Cabot House, said he will inform the College of the new title early next year.

Administrators and House masters acknowledged Tuesday that the move to abandon the term was in part prompted by recent protests against racism on campuses across the country; some Harvard students have called for changing it, and the title of the equivalent position at Yale has drawn particularly sharp criticism. Still, the conversation around the change is an old one, administrators said.

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