By Ryoji Watanabe, News Writer, MC/MPA ‘12
Skyscrapers far in the horizon, shining stars above in the sky, a balmy 70 degrees complimented by the light breeze blowing on students’ faces—the evening of September 21, 2011 turned out to be a perfect occasion for 400 Harvard Kennedy School students and their friends to sail out onto the Boston Harbor and celebrate the beginning of the great year ahead.
Though it had rained just the day before, on that beautiful autumn evening Boston Harbor was as calm as it could ever be. All the guests arrived dressed up in their sharpest attire for what would become a memorable evening.
The night cruise was the first event hosted by the newly elected members of the Kennedy School Student Government headed by President Sherry Hakimi and Executive Vice President Georgeta Dragoiu. The student government members gathered just before 8 pm to decorate and set up snacks for their classmates. Slowly, the boat filled up with smiling students out for a good time and it finally left the dock after all the party goers were safely on board.
The students on the ship were a diverse lot hailing from all the various programs within HKS. Friends from other schools, such as the Harvard Business School, also joined in the festivities. It was a great place for students to interact with others from different programs and reach out to the other schools within Harvard community. Zach Wineburg, a Mid-Career MPA student, said, “It was such a fantastic occasion to meet with other students in HKS. The weather was perfect. I am looking forward to what KSSG has planned next.”
As the night progressed, the ship gradually turned itself into a moving club on the sea. People started dancing on multiple sections of the ship, particularly the upper deck, while others in a mellower mood enjoyed pleasant conversations below deck. The celebration continued until midnight when the ship safely returned to the same port which it left behind three hours ago. All the students disembarked and returned to their homes without incident — fortunately for the KSSG, none of the party-goers were so intoxicated as to fall into the sea!
The boat cruise was a great opportunity for students to establish new friendships and re-connect with classmates. Following the successful conclusion of its first event, the student government aims to host more exciting activities throughout the year that will provide students with opportunities to interact with people from other programs. According to President Hakimi and Executive Vice President Dragoiu, “The boat cruise was an excellent way to set the tone for how KSSG plans to run this year: fun-filled, inclusive, and organized!”