Not The Onion: Harvard Eliminates Overdue Library Book Fines Because They ‘Stress’ Out Students
Harvard is doing away with overdue book fines because they might stress out students.
No, really. This is a real thing that is actually happening. In what I absolutely swore was a headline from The Onion, the Ivy League school will no longer impose late fees on overdue library books.
Students used to have to pay a whopping 50 cents for every day a book is late. But those pesky and traumatic fees will be a thing of the past according to Harvard’s student paper The Crimson.
“The goals of these changes are to improve the student experience and embrace a ‘One Harvard’ approach for borrowing material across Harvard Library,” wrote Steven Beardsley, Harvard’s associate director for access services administrative operations and special projects.
While you would think the reason might be to make a level playing field for rich elites and less privileged students who are attending the prestigious and expensive university on a scholarship, it turns out that it’s all about “stress.”
“We have witnessed firsthand the stress that overdue fines can cause for students,” Beardsley continued. “Eliminating standard overdue fines and standardizing loan periods across Harvard’s libraries should help students focus on their scholarship, rather than worrying about renewing library books every 28 days in order to avoid fines.”
Way to mollycoddle your students and not prepare them for the harsh realities of life after their bubble-wrapped college experience. Plus, what reason would students have to return a book? Might as well keep that shit all semester.
Why don’t we just get rid of papers and exams because they too are stressful?