Currier House

Currier House Flyby Image
The Harvard Crimson

As Housing Day approaches, FlyBy will serve as your personal rating agency with a complete rundown by a resident of each House. Not that you have any say (River Gods notwithstanding), but at least you’ll know whether your portfolio is getting a downgrade.

As the youngest House, Currier rebels against the austere Harvard standard: while its façade may look like a '70s era retirement home, over the weekend this Quad pad transforms into a campus hotspot.

Location: The Radcliffe Quadrangle, also known as far away from everything.

Rooming: Sweet with a dash of salt. Sophomore housing is generally more palatable than in other houses, though the majority of Currier rooms are singles sans common rooms; for these setups, party-throwing takes creativity. Thanks to a wealth of common spaces, however, Currier maintains a status as party central for ambitious river dwellers and lazy quadlings alike. Seniors also have a great shot at suites such as the Ten Man or one of three Solaria. Although rooms are cockroach-free, they definitely require some interior decorating--otherwise you'll be staring at cement walls all year.

Dining Hall: Currier's dining hall features two standouts: a giant fountain centerpiece and a warm, friendly staff. You will often find yourself striking up a conversation with Patricia at the checker's desk or catching up with Amy M. Lester, dining hall manager. Dining hall hours go mercifully late and the doors often open early. Currier has also been called the crown jewel of HUDS, as food is characterized by excellent preparation and nice touches, such as cherry tomatoes and peeled cucumber slices.

Late night munching, however, is a sad affair. The average brain break is abysmal after 9 p.m. Quad life is one far away from any late-night food establishment, and night owls either become vending machine regulars or takeout speed-dial savants.

House List: A haven for some, a nuisance for others. Like many house lists, Currierwire features an antagonizing aristocracy, along with mainstays such as Christopher L. Hartl '09 and Frances I. Martel '09. Though the list has its share of borderline asinine threads, the relatively manageable volume and occasional gem make a subscription worthwhile. List moderator Jeffrey D. Nanney '10 attests to two or three subscription requests per week.

House Masters: Down-to-earth and debonair. In little over a semester as House Masters, Anthropology Professor Richard Wrangham and primatologist Elisabeth Ross have made enough of a mark to be beloved by residents. At House Masters' open houses, you're likely to catch Wrangham chatting about current events or giving a group of students an animated primer on animal behavior. The couple is wont to invite distinguished speakers, host impromptu events, and--only when asked--regale you with tales from their years in Uganda. If the Porters are the parents you never had, Ross and Wrangham are your eccentric, worldly, loquacious aunt and uncle. Resident Dean Katherine Stanton also ranks high, hosting wine and cheese tastings for House foodies.

House Culture: Peculiar, though generally positive. The Currier HoCo is dominated by maniacally devoted individuals who are willing to go to any lengths for house pride, and on Housing Day, you'll find them braving the Cambridge weather in barely-there Speedos.

Currier's modus operandi, of course, is partying. Stein Clubs may be standard, but the house is known for blowout Fishbowl events such as Currieroke, when tutors and tutees alike can be found belting out '80s classics, and the notorious Halloween party Heaven and Hell. You can bet something is going down on 64 Linnaean any given weekend.

The Verdict: A.* If you're going to get Quadded, The Tree House is the way to go. While it lacks even baseline aesthetic appeal, great food, a tight house community, and a festive atmosphere more than make up for this House's shortcomings.

*Ratings run as such: [AAA > AA > A > BBB > junk > subprime]