On Housing Day, Freshmen Welcomed With Festivities

Upperclassmen descended upon the Yard Thursday morning to display their House spirit and deliver House assignments to freshmen. 

Paying the brisk windy weather—which some still considered an improvement from snowy weather last year—no heed, upperclassmen stood chanting in the Yard, sporting face paint and colorful House swag like Dunster House antlers and Adams House boxers, before rushing off to freshman dorms with House assignments in hand.

Dean Khurana's Cabot Pride
Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, who also serves as co-master of Cabot House, sits on the shoulders of two Cabot House students. Upperclassmen stormed Harvard Yard on Thursday morning to start off Housing Day festivities.

Behind suite doors, freshmen waited anxiously to receive their Housing letters.

Outside Annenberg after receiving their assignment, Julie A. Baldassano ’18 and her blockmates recounted their moments of suspense.

“We had Cabot knock on our door at least three times, to fake us out,” Baldassano said, remembering the waves of upperclassmen who came and went. “My heart was breaking.”

In the end, upperclassmen from Mather House rushed into their suite, to both “silent” and “super happy” reactions from her blockmates, Baldassano said.

But Baldassano and her friends, donning coordinated Harvard sweaters and Mather headbands, said they had a fun time on Housing Day, even though several had midterms later Thursday.

The carnival atmosphere continued throughout the day. During lunchtime, House representatives welcomed their new members inside Annenberg by distributing House shirts and other House merchandise.

Housing Day 2015
Students dressed in blue leotards find a prime location near the John Harvard to cheer. Upperclassmen stormed Harvard Yard on Thursday morning to start off Housing Day festivities.

Outside Annenberg, members of Lowell House Committee invited freshmen to make s’mores on their portable fire pits. Nearby, Leverett House organized a rabbit petting zoo, in honor of their House mascot. A Currier House resident stood by the entrance waving his arms and wearing an inflatable tree costume, representing Currier’s mascot.

Joanna M. Guth ’16 and Nick J. Stager ’16, members of Kirkland HoCo who helped distribute House assignments to freshmen, said they enjoyed the opportunity to welcome new students and show off their House pride. Stager had donned a boar costume—the Kirkland House mascot—for the occasion, while Guth carried a sign inscribed with the words “Twerkland Kirkland.”

Guth said that some Kirkland students had been at the John Harvard statue since 5 o’clock that morning, in order to “claim” the statue by draping the Kirkland flag over it.

Eliot House Spirit
Students in Eliot House chant house cheers on the steps of University Hall. Upperclassmen stormed Harvard Yard on Thursday morning to start off Housing Day festivities.

“If you look at all the photos today, the Kirkland flag is on John Harvard. We take pride in getting there first,” Guth said.

Kirkland was one of the many houses that continued Housing Day festivities throughout the evening. Houses invited freshmen to dinner and other social activities in the House.

“It’s fun just to see the big crowds of people running around,” Stager said. “Housing Day is really one day of the year where [House spirit] really comes out. A lot of people get involved that don’t normally get involved in House life.”

—Staff writer Quynh-Nhu Le can be reached at quynhnhu.le@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @qnhule.

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