Diverse NoHosers Boast Spirit, Unity

TOURING THE HOUSES Part of a continuing service on House life

North House residents give a lot of thought to the image of their house.

"If North House were a guy, he would be friendly, fun and totally buff," says Jennifer M. Dewey '94, North House committee treasurer, "while Cabot would be quiet and lame."

John K. Chung '92-'93 echoes a similar sentiment from a male perspective.

"If Currier House were a woman, she would be big and ugly. And the river houses would be over the hill," says Chung. "But North House would be ideal. She looks good, she's very classy, she has good physical attributes."

It's hard to nail down a stereotype for North House, the smallest and one of the most sought-after houses in recent years. Some call it the beautiful house. Other just say it's the only Quad house where the residents have not been randomized. And many of them say they like to play foozball.


North House is also noted for its diversity. Seventeen percent of the House's residents are Black--four percent more than any other house, according to the Committee on House Life.

That diversity is North House's best attribute, according to many "NoHosers."

"We used to be known as the 'Kirkland of the Quad,' with our many athletes, but now the house is more diverse," Chung says. "We have a big minority representation."

"Harvard as an elite institution can foster a false sense of what the real world is like. But North House is more demographically consistent with the outside world," House Tutor Thomas G. Stewart says.

Acting House Master Dr. David S. Rosenthal '59--known better beyond North House as the director of the University Health Services--says his house's diversity actually makes the atmosphere more relaxed and friendly than other houses.

"The students are really relaxed--except during exams," Rosenthal says. "I came to North right after exams, and everyone was very laid-back. The students really feel like it's a home."

The Rosenthals took over as North's acting co-masters in January for Co-Masters J. Woodland Hastings and Hanna M. Hastings, who are on sabbatical in Europe.

North House students say that living in a house that people chose to be in--rather than one that people were randomized into--has a positive effect on house spirit.

"The people are what make North House special, because they wanted to be here," says House Committee Chair Deirdre A. McEvoy.

"My lottery number was in the single digits, and here I am in North House," NoHoser Michael D. Last '95 says. "North House residents don't have a chip on their shoulder about being randomized."

McEvoy points to the plethora of campus leaders who live in North as evidence of how heavily residents are involved in Harvard activities.