College Reshuffles DeWolfe Housing

New arrangement aimed at placing students closer to home

Embarking on its own game of musical chairs, the College plans to reassign which Houses will use the DeWolfe Street apartments next year.

For the first time, Leverett House residents will be living in Dewolfe next year, while Mather House residents will no longer have that option, according to Associate Dean of Harvard College for Residential Life Suzy M. Nelson.

Kirkland House will also be giving up one floor of DeWolfe rooms.

Because of the switch, Leverett will accept more inter-house transfers and rising sophomores than in previous years, Nelson wrote in an e-mail statement.

Nelson added that Leverett was a fitting choice for DeWolfe space because of the House’s proximity to the overflow dorms.

“One of the main challenges of DeWolfe is that it is not in the ‘House proper’ for any House represented there, and the goal of House life is to build community among House residents,” Nelson wrote, noting that with Leverett’s nearby location its students in DeWolfe will be more likely to eat in their own dining hall and attend House activities.

While Leverett House Master Howard Georgi ’67 acknowledged that putting students in DeWolfe was not ideal, he agreed that the decision made sense given Leverett’s location.

“We felt that it was best for the College as a whole to have more students living NEAR the House they are associated with,” Georgi wrote in an e-mail statement, pointing out that 20 DeWolfe is closer to the House’s dining hall than Leverett G tower is.

And having Leverett students in DeWolfe might even improve House community since there will be fewer non-Leverett DeWolfe residents in the dining hall and at Leverett events, Georgi wrote.

“House community is something that we are always talking, but the DeWolfe issue has certainly increased the urgency,” Georgi wrote. “One thing we are talking about is trying to use some of our common spaces more for House events and to be a bit less generous in allowing student organizations to reserve them.”

Kirkland House Master Thomas Conley said that Kirkland is looking forward to having more of its members in the House.

“We found that the House community benefited from having all students in the same living space,” Conley said.

Mather House Committee (HoCo) Co-Chair Nitesh Banta ’08 said that Mather would also benefit greatly from the new system, as Mather students in DeWolfe have had a “tough time” getting involved in house activities in the past.

“We’re a tight house community, and now every person in Mather will actually be living in Mather,” Banta said. “The entire house and HoCo is really excited about it.”

Mather House Masters Sandra Naddaff and Leigh Hafrey could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Georgi would not agree to be interviewed via telephone and Nelson was traveling yesterday and could only be reached by e-mail.

—Staff writer Aditi Banga can be reached at