Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

The Story Of Our Brand

For years, HSA has held an extremely large and important presence on Harvard’s campus.While its organizational structure has varied vastly, the underlying fact that it serves to be a major undergraduate employer in assisting to defray the cost of student expenses, while also providing a hands on business education, has remained the same.

Despite the fact that a sizable portion of the student body is involved with HSA in some form, one major challenge that has persisted in recent years is a lack of knowledge regarding what exactly HSA is, who works for it, and what they do. A lack of transparency surrounding the organization has led to a tarnished brand amongst the student body. In particular, one issue at hand is the fact that only one agency in HSA (there are 13 total) is particularly student facing, which has left the other 12 out of student sight and understanding.

As an organization, HSA has what I believe to be a strong and powerful mission statement. However, its strength is stifled by its lack of transparency. From a student perspective, they can only pass judgment based on the information they have available to them. For most students, Harvard Student Agencies is synonymous with Cleaners and Dorm Essentials.  In my opinion, it seems that in recent years, students have come to believe that HSA is an organization that tries to take things from students (ie: their money), as opposed to serving them. I think that this perception has been shaped without understanding the following: HSA is run entirely by students for students, HSA is a non-profit, and HSA provides an educational opportunity to students. HSA has done a poor job of sharing the role that it plays on campus, and the mission that it works towards.

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