Not Crunchy, But Furry

Dunster Claims Liberal, Friendly Outlook

It's been called the "hippie house" and "Adams by the sea," but the posters around campus advertising Dunster House to first-years claim: "We're not crunchy, we're furry."

The word "furry" refers to friendliness, according to Douglas M. DeMay '94, who insists that the house is not full of radical environmentalists.

"People in Dunster have a thing about being called granola types," DeMay says. "We're environmentally conscious, but we're not crunchy Birkenstock-wearing people. We're very accepting and friendly."

Dunster officials, like those in many of the other houses, say it is a mistake to stereotype Dunster residents.

"There are a lot of different people who do their own thing," says Peter S. Hahn '94, house committee co-chair. "There are no constraints to be a certain way."

Still, others admit that Dunster does have a distinct character.


"It's a little bit granola, artsy, funky, very musical and theatrical," says Senior Tutor Henriette Lazaridis Power. "We have very few varsity athletes...there are more with randomization, but you can count them on two hands."

Most agree that almost all Dansterites have enthusiasm for their own activities.

"We're known to be an exuberant group of people with a lot of creativity," says Karel F. Liem, the much-loved house master. "[The students] really like to get new programs going that are based on student initiative and student participation."

Despite this enthusiasm for individual projects, residents say the house spirit is, on the whole, "very tame."

"People like Dunster House, but it's not overly rah-rah," Power says. "It's sort of self-conscious house spirit."

But there are some house-wide activities that do inspire residents. By far the most popular, many say, is the Goat Roast that consumes many residents late in the spring.

"We get two goats that have been bled and degutted and we skin them ourselves with rock tools," DeMay says. "It's very natural. It's great."

Demay says the traditional Roast also includes live music, a limbo contest and many a mug of Dunster Brau--the students' homemade beer.

And when the goats aren't roasting, residents relax with each other at the monthly Happy Hours, weekly Coffeehouses, or on a daily basis at the House grill.

"It's not an organized social [life]. It's people spending a lot of time in the dining hall and in the common area," says Elizabeth A. Cotter '94, house committee co-chair.