Most Undergrads Like House Committees

71% Say House Leadership 'Works Fine'

An overwhelming majority of Harvard students are satisfied with their house committees, according to a recent Crimson survey.

Approximately 71 percent of sophomores, juniors and seniors surveyed said their house committee "works fine," while only 20 percent said it "needs improvement," according to the February poll of 290 College students.

Only five percent of students surveyed said they thought their house committee" needs to be dissolved."

Satisfaction was higher among women surveyed, with 75 percent responding that their committee works, fine in comparison to 68 percent of men.

Among the houses, Currier had the highest satisfaction rate. Of 24 Currier residents surveyed, 22 were satisfied with their house committee, while only one person said it needs improvement.


"I think one of the things that works well are the "Thursday Fests," said Edward M. Gubbins '94, chair of the house committee.

Gubbins said Currier residents look forward to the weekly gatherings.

"[It is] someplace where people can interact socially during the week," he said.

Quincy House and Kirkland House also received high ratings, with 23 of 29 Quincy residents and 11 of 14 Kirkland residents surveyed saying their committee works fine.

Trey Grayson '94, chair of the Kirkland House Committee, said, "[Our] main goal would be to promote and maintain house spirit."

To that end. Grayson said committee meetings are bi-weekly rather than weekly because "it's more productive to have slightly longer meetings with better attendance."

Grayson said although the same students attend house committee meetings, more residents participate to help plan specific events such as the spring formal.

David J. Greene '93, a senior from Cabot House regularly attends house committee meetings to promote house spirit and to help sophomores "feel a little less distraught."

Cabot was one of two houses which stood out for a relatively low level of satisfaction. While nine of 21 respondents said their house committee worked fine, an equal number also said it needed improvement.

But Cabot resident Alex E. Baptiste '95 said he thinks residents, not the house committee, determine the atmosphere around the house. "I am sure the house committee is doing their best to make the social atmosphere as lively as possible," Baptiste said. "Personally, though, I think there's not much hope for that."

And other Cabot residents who were not surveyed said they were content with their house committee's performance. "It's a diverse place and people want different things," said Cabot resident Alexandra E. Tibbetts '93.

Greene speculated that participation at Cabot committee meetings was low because residents have too many other commitments. "There are many active people, but they tend to go outside the house for excitement, or stay together," Greene said.

Respondents from Adams House also appeared less satisfied with their house committees. While 14 of 24 respondents thought their house committees worked fine, another eight said it needed improvement.

"We spend money on stupid things," said resident J. Andrew Kent '93, citing the purchase of a gong for the dining hall. "I'd personally rather have a laser printer or a grill."

However, Adams resident Simone M. Sandy '94 dsiagreed, citing house formals and Cafe Mardi Gras as particularly successful projects