Off-Campus Undergraduates Find Community Through Dudley House

Nobody actually lives in Dudley House, but about 70 undergraduates have some right to call it home.

About 33 students live in the Dudley Co-op, an off-beat community housed in two buildings on Sacramento Street.

An additional 35 off-campus students affiliate with Dudley House, out of the only 217 undergraduates (3% of the student body) living off campus, said Mac J. Broderick, acting housing officer for the College.

The majority of off-campus undergraduates affiliate with their original residential houses, although some are first-year or visiting students.

For off-campus Dudley students, the reasons for joining the most unique of Harvard's houses range from happenstance to a desire to be part of house that specializes in off-campus concerns.


More Than Cafe Gato Rojo

Dudley House, one of Harvard's 13 Houses, is located in Lehman Hall in the southwest corner of Harvard Yard.

All students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) are affiliated with Dudley and can use it for administrative, advising, social and cultural services.

Undergraduates affiliate with it either by joining the Dudley Coop or by choosing to affiliate with Dudley House after moving off-campus.

Undergraduates are invited to all House social and cultural events, and they can also use it for advising through a tutor system like that in the residential Houses.

Dudley events have included themed movie nights (back to back "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Roxanne," for instance), piano concerts, ballroom dance classes and Pub Rojo--a night of music and beer at Cafe Gato Rojo, located in the basement of Lehman Hall.

Moving Off Campus

The decision to leave Harvard's grounds for the apartments of Cambridge and Somerville has several causes.

"It's not like a thing with the '70s, where everyone's off to live with their significant other," said Margaret Handy, assistant to the senior tutor a Dudley House.

She said some students move off-campus to have more independence or to raise a child. In addition, older students often are unaccustomed to dormitory life.