If Housing Day Videos Were Honest

Currier Tree
Courtesy of YouTube

Just under a decade ago, YouTube brought Internet users across the globe (or at least in countries without too much happiness-killing web censorship) the chance to waste hours watching clips of adorable sneezing baby pandas and atrocious Whitney Houston covers. It also brought Harvard upperclassmen the chance to upload sometimes creative, sometimes cringe-worthy videos advertising their houses.

Housing Day videos have enchanted wide-eyed freshmen for years. Last year’s “Get Lowell” had freshmen longing for the House’s bells, while Pfoho’s 2010 “Hitler Gets His Housing Assignment” made the Quad seem more appealing than ever. Now, the first Housing Day video of 2014 has just arrived, and it makes Quincy House seem like an idyllic—if chilly—haven compared to the rest of Harvard’s (inferior) houses.

But can any of these videos claim accuracy? Like most things media, Housing Day videos are all about the spin. To do students a service and set the record straight, we’ve come up with a few suggestions for more honest Housing Day displays.

Currier House
A student dressed as a tree—Currier’s inimitable mascot—strolls through Harvard Yard waxing eloquent about the joys of his home. At Widener Gate, he walks confidently toward the Quad Express shuttle, mentioning the comfort and frequency of the service. The shuttle drives away just as he reaches the door. The student shrugs his shoulders cheerfully, breaks out in a bridge about the pleasure and healthfulness of brisk winter walks, and continues to dance toward his home. As time goes on, his enthusiasm fades, bitterness creeps into his voice, and tears stream down his cheeks, catching in the leaves of his costume. The video continues for 20 minutes, Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” on a loop.

Winthrop House
A group of students wander the walkthroughs of Winthrop. It’s hard to see all of them because they don’t really fit in the room, and they seem to be fighting over who gets to sit on the bottom bunk and who gets relegated to the top for the performance. As they shout their own lyrics over The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”—more commonly known as “Teenage Wasteland”—roaches begin to pour out from holes in the floor beneath the disintegrating concrete bases of floor lamps. Bit by bit, Winthrop House falls to pieces, its residents pushing each other aside and into the wreckage as they desperately strive to save themselves. Game of Throp has never felt so real.

Kirkland House
Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” plays as Kirklanders make out to the tune. The video cuts off after mere seconds when the cameraman can no longer resist the urge to join in.

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