People in the News: John Paul M. Fox '04

Jessica E. Schumer


John Paul M. Fox ’04 knows how to throw a party.

As Co-President of the Mather House Committee (HoCo), Fox organized the “Mather Lather” party thrown April 26—which turned out to be a victim of its own success. Some bikini-clad partygoers said there wasn’t enough foam to go around. The crowd numbered between 1,000 and 1,300 according to HoCo estimates.

The inebriated throngs prompted the Harvard University Police Department to shut the party down two hours early. The bust even led the Cambridge Licensing Commission to deny Mather House a liquor license for its spring formal and to temporarily rescind a permit that allowed any House dining hall parties to run past 1 a.m.“We wanted to throw a wicked cool party,” Fox says. “It was unprecedented and had many more people than we originally thought would be coming.”

Fox first became active in Mather HoCo when he entered the House his sophomore year and quickly became the social chair. He organized a “Happy Hour” every other week and was involved in the planning of the formal dances and Mather’s tailgate at The Game.

In December, Fox said he wanted to organize not only House life but also campus life when he ran for Undergraduate Council vice president on a ticket with Hunter A. Maats ’04. The duo ran on an ambitious platform, with campaign promises such as improving the Faculty tenure process and bringing students cable television.

Fox said he and Maats ran on a platform of shaking up the College.

Although inexperienced with the Council, Fox said he thought his ticket could still do a better job.

“Our basic platform was that we, as newcomers, could think of novel and more effective ways of convincing the administration to institute changes the students want,” Fox says. The pair ran an unorthodox and humorous campaign, which Fox said “made us appear more goofy than we intended.”

For example, the Maats and Fox campaign had a “trophy wife” instead of a campaign manager and they put up placards with slogans like “We have the Haats 4 Maats.”

But Fox is not all fun and games. In his first two years at the College, he served as a tutor for Project IF (Inventing the Future), helping low income students from East Boston.

Last summer, Fox worked for Black America’s Political Action Committee  (BAMPAC), which advocates in favor of school choice and against abortion, among other issues. There, he had a unique experience: he was the only white person in the office.

“It was really cool being the only white person, something that may never happen again in my lifetime,” Fox says.

This summer, Fox will be at Oxford for a week long colloquium studying the history of conservative political thought.

And Fox also says he plans to make the Mather Lather a regular on the Harvard party calendar.

“We thought it was just too successful and hope, if possible, to throw it again next year, just much better regulated,” he says.