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Adams Senior Tutor Urges Return to House Tradition

Days after the poorly attended Adams House Masquerade and in anticipation of tonight’s Drag Night, the senior tutor of Adams House circulated an e-mail yesterday with the subject line: “Is Winthrop the New Adams? I Don’t Think So!”

Michael Rodriguez said he sent the e-mail to House residents after hearing two students discuss the new Winthrop art studio, the relaunching of the Winthrop Drama Society and the “Queer Jeopardy!” game held in that House Monday night.

According to Rodriguez, one student concluded, “Winthrop is the new Adams.”

Before Harvard housing became randomized, Adams House was known for its appreciation of the arts and for housing some of Harvard’s most flamboyant personalities. Adams was a House where people “celebrated doing their own thing,” Rodriguez said.

The e-mail asked Adams residents to think about what makes the House “unique” and what responsibilities come along with being “part of such a storied community.”

Some House residents said they think the traditional Adams identity remains despite randomization.

“I see it as a traditional, artsy, drama-oriented House,” said Elizabeth A. Gass ’03. “At their dances they always have naked people around. It’s wild and crazy.”

But other residents said randomization has robbed Adams of its concentration of counter-cultural students.

“People see it as the artsy house, but I don’t really see that,” said Prince G. Dockery ’03.

Andrew D. Goulet ’04, Adams House committee co-president, who is also a Crimson editor, said randomization has had a positive effect on the house.

“If anything, we’re not losing our identity, we’re expanding it,” he said.

For example, he said, the House had never won the Straus Cup for intramural sports before randomization. Adams won the Straus Cup for the first time last year, beating traditional athletic powerhouses Cabot and Kirkland.

“There was a core group of athletically inclined students who wouldn’t have chosen Adams,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said his e-mail was not meant to discourage Adams’ new identity but to embrace its old one.

He said he has received more than 15 responses to the message.

Moira E. Dwyer ’04 said the e-mail gave her a “nostalgic feeling” and inspired her to become more involved in Adams House activities.

Olivia K. Garcia ’03 said she appreciates that her House is “very accepting of diversity in all forms.”

“There are athletes, people who are very into Drag Night,” she said. “We have the whole spectrum.”

—Staff writer Emily M. Anderson can be reached at emanders@fas.harvard.edu.

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