How do we engage with our community at Harvard? Popular websites like Harvard FML and I Saw You Harvard definitely create a sense of community among undergrads, but perhaps something more like a community of shared misery, or complaining, or squandered hopes. On Topic @ Harvard was created to be a place where Harvard students could engage with their community in a new way. This should be a place where you can find out what Harvard students really think.
Vote & Discuss
Every day, there are three new topic statements - one each under the headings "SomethingHarvard", "SomethingImportant", and "SomethingRandom". Each topic should address some kind of hot issue within the community, an issue on which we'll all be interested to see where the community's opinion lies. To find out where the community stands, each topic has a simple vote counter beside it. Each user can agree with or disagree with the statement and these vote numbers immediately appear next to the topic. In addition to that, you can discuss the topics on a comments thread associated with each topic. This will hopefully allow people to understand their community and their place in it better.
There's also a daily chat topic and you can about this topic with a random harvard student. The chat feature is not all that unlike Chat Roulette, except you know that the person you're chatting with comes form your comunity and you have a topic to help structure and give context to the conversation.
Ultimately, On Topic at Harvard should be a place for evryone in the Harvard community to think about and discuss the issues that are most interesting to them. To that end, we've implemented a submission feature where any user can suggest a future topic. These topic suggestions are immediately posted on the submission spage, where everyone can rank which topics are the best. At midnight each night, the highest ranked topics will become the official topics of the day.