The Great House War of 2012 Escalates

What started as one House’s lighthearted prank to meddle with the mascot selection of another House has escalated into a College-wide fray—The Great House War of 2012.

Prompted by Adams’ initial declaration of war against Currier Monday night, several other Houses have entered alliances. No casualties have yet been reported.

House Committee members scurried throughout Wednesday to organize emergency meetings to prepare their Houses for the imminent combat. While some upperclassmen are gearing up for battle, many freshman, who are not yet integrated into House life, said the launch of The Great House War of 2012 seems rather juvenile.

Zachary P. Fletcher ’15, an incoming Adams sophomore, said he is slightly annoyed by all the emails that have been flooding his inbox.

“It’s fun—but also immature,” Fletcher said. “This is something that would happen in middle school.”

Emmanuel Figueroa ’15, a future Matherite, said, “It was the hot topic of the night [among my freshmen friends], and we all thought it was really silly.”

But when he discussed the details of The Great House War of 2012 with his mother last night, she did not understand what was so funny.

Despite the contentious nature of any war, both Figueroa and Fletcher said that the conflict could bring students together.

“At the moment, I feel distant from the House because I’m an incoming sophomore,” Fletcher said. “But if it’s done well, I guess it is a good way to create community.”

On Tuesday night, Cabot announced its solidarity with the other Quad Houses, officially entering the war against Adams alongside Pforzheimer, which had already announced its support for the threatened Currierites.

Calling the actions of Adams “ruthless and unacceptable,” the Cabot declaration extolled “the strength of the Tree, the ferocity of the Pfolar Bear, and the nimbleness of the Fish” in the fight for justice.

Samuel Q. Singer ’13, who helped draft Cabot’s declaration, said that Cabot is a willing ally of Currier, since Adams “often assumes an elitist attitude.”

“Adams overreacted to the prank that Currier played,” Singer said. “The behavior of [Adams] overall is sometimes unreasonable.”

Winthrop followed Wednesday by announcing a separate engagement against Lowell for denying Winthrop residents access to the Lowell back gate, waking them up with its “cacophonous bells every Sunday,” and assaulting the eyes of visitors with its yellow-painted dining hall, according to the statement.

The declaration demanded that Lowell open its back gate to Winthrop, Eliot, and Leverett students and limit its bell ringing to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Winthrop implicitly sided with Adams in the conflict between Adams and Currier, announcing its alliance to “other River Houses seeking to end this injustice and foster a community that unites all Houses regardless of gate configurations.”

In response to Winthrop’s attack, Lowell House co-Masters Dorothy A. Austin and Diana L. Eck sent an email to the residents of Lowell declaring theirs a peaceful House.

“Lowell Love will not respond to words of aggression and needless distractions from the beauty of the season,” Austin and Eck wrote. “In the spirit of Gandhi, we respond: ‘Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.’”

The email stated Lowell’s refusal to yield and “open the gate to such threats of war.”

—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at janeseo@college.harvard.edu.

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