Currier Is Ugly, Yet Friendly

TOURING THE HOUSES Second in a continuing series on House life.

Some say it's the house for athletes and big parties. Others complain there are too many men. But most agree that Currier House is ugly.

And despite its firm reputation as a social house, nobody wants to live there.

"We were number 404 out of 405 in the housing lottery," says Katherine D. Veazey '95. "At first we were shocked, all we could do was laugh. We found out later that a lot of friends of ours were in the house. That made it better."

Once they get there, though, many residents seem to want to stay.

"I'm very happy," Veazey says. "Now Currier is my favorite house not just because I live here, but if you go to other houses...nothing compares."

Indeed, first-years may travel the involuntary route of randomization to Currier, but there are twice as many attempts to transfer into the house as there are out of it, says Patricia G. Pepper, the assistant to the master.

A Colossus of Cinder Block

Unlike the ivy-covered colonial buildings that most of the undergraduates at Harvard enjoy, Currier is a colossus of cinder block.

But residents are quick to defend the house against such critics of aesthetics, saying that what Currier lacks in physical attractiveness it makes up for in the friendliness of the people.

Currier has at least two unique features that give the house a social feel: a single entry and a 10-person suite that occupies an entire hall of the building.

The lone entryway gives residents a certain housewide familiarity other houses simply can't offer.

"Because of the common entryway everyone gets to know each other," says Tacho Sandoval '93.

On the other hand, that familiarity, considered with the fellow Currier House residents working the bell desk 24 hours, means the single entry can lead to a lack of privacy.

"With someone always there, and the phone sitting right next to them, people walk by and the phone starts ringing. "It's gossip heave," says one senior in the house who requested anonymity.

Any then there's he "10-man."

The house is divided into five halls and is made up mostly of singles, with only 20 percent of the sophomore class in suites. One of those five halls contains he infamous 10-man suite, a place that students throughout the College have long looked to for Saturday night parties.

But the 10-man has been unusally silent this year.

"Well, eight of he 10 of us are on the football team, so it was hard to throw parties in the fall," says Je Moon, '93, member of the College's best-known suite. "We've thrown four [parties] already; how much do people expect? We've got to clean the place our [after parties]. I guess that makes me sound like a party popular.... everyone assumes we'll throw parties."

Moon adds that he and his roommates are members of final clubs and spend a good deal of their time there.

The scarcity of 10-man parties has been partially offset by the installation of a bar in the fourth floor Bingham common room by Sandoval's rooming group. "We go permission after the fact," Sandoval says.

The social make-up of the house is also changing over time. For example, Currier seems to be following in the tradition of the Kirkland House of not so long ago, in that the number of athletes is tremendous.

"There are a lot of athletes, but we cover a wide range." says Lau R. Christensen '94, house committee treasurer. "Sometimes you get annoyed at the lack of musicians et cetera, but on the other hand you have a lot in common with other people that live in the house."

Being an athlete in the Quad can have its perks. "The swim team gets cabs down [to the athletic area] in the morning and that's a big advantage over living on the river because you get to drive by freezing people in a nice warm cab," Beavy says.

Large athletic blocking groups, however, contribute to the skewed ratio of men to women in Currier, Sandoval says.

In the house as a whole there is a ratio of about 55 percent men to 45 percent women, but in the sophomore class there is a ratio of 80 men to 40 women, Pepper says.

"The masters and I are concerned about it and have registered our concern with the administration," says Deborah D. Foster, the senior tutor.

"As a women I really can't complain," said Cherylyn Washington '93. "As a guy it would kind of stink. [But] in terms meeting people of the opposite sex, you don't have to stay in the house."

According to one sophomore, though, the large number of males could be intimidating even if people are generally friendly.

"There are so many men...its not very welcoming for a women," says Meredith Wolf '95,

In all, Currier residents say they like their house--but they are wary of recommending it to incoming sophomores. "I think it's a great house. Once you're put in it you like it," says Christensen. "But part of the attractive aspect of Currier is that no one wanted to live here. It's not like the other Quad houses, with people that wanted to live in the Quad