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It began with little white stickers on Adams House ID cards. Now it is a full-fledged war.
Tensions between Adams and Pforzheimer House residents escalated Wednesday when a group of four unknown males entered Adams' dining hall at about 4:15 p.m. and removed the House's famous gong used during meals to make announcements. In recent months, the gong has been used to chide unwelcome dinner guests.
The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is investigating the incident. Yesterday, students in Pforzheimer House hinted that some of their Housemates were the culprits.
According to Peggy A. McNamara, HUPD spokesperson, an Adams Dining Hall employee tried to stop the students. A scuffle ensued, and the employee managed to recover the gong's wooden frame before the four students fled in a motor vehicle, McNamara said.
Later, at about 6:30 p.m., McNamara said, HUPD officers recovered the gong, which was hanging in the Pforzheimer dining hall. Over the gong was a sign that read "the spoils of war," according to Pforzheimer resident Manuel A. Garcia '00.
But McNamara said the dining hall employee may press charges in light of the prank. While trying to stop the thieves, he was dragged a short distance by the motor vehicle.
"The employee feels that everyone is satisfied that the drum was recovered and returned," McNamara said. "Although the investigation is ongoing as to the identities of the four Pfoho students, larceny was committed."
The war began earlier in the month, when Adams House put white stickers on its students' IDs to enforce its strict inter-House dining policy.
In retaliation, the Pforzheimer House Committee proposed a vote to ban Adams students from eating in their dining hall. The vote failed.
Adams residents retaliated by declaring war on Pforzheimer Monday night, plastering the doors of Pforzheimer rooms with a "declaration of war," taking the "pf" of Pforzheimer into protective custody and declaring themselves Pfadams House.
Late Wednesday night, in retaliation for the theft of the gong, Adams residents entered Pforzheimer, plastering signs that read "the sun never sets on the pfadams empire."
But Pforzheimer students "were ripping down signs as soon as they were being put up", according to Peter B. Moores '01, a House resident who is on the newly formed Pforzheimer Council of War.
The war is expected to culminate this Sunday in a "final battle" that, according to Garcia, will probably include football and tug-of-war games.
"Adams House started this war with their Declaration," Garcia said. "On Sunday, we will unleash 'the dogs of war' and finish it."
Moores said Pforzheimer is "well-mobilized" for Sunday's battle, but is not sure if the war will end there.
"Pfoho is not going to go down without a fight", he said. "We are ready to defend the ideals of democracy against the imperialism of Adams House."
Some students are obviously taking the war very seriously--Robert C. Hughes '01, an Adams House resident, said his friend on the Pforzheimer Council of War isn't speaking to him--but most seem to view it as all in good fun.
Kathleen L. Guyco '02 of Adams House described the war as "fun" and "cute."
"I just think people don't have enough work at this point in the year," she said.
Jeni Tu '01, also of Adams House, said the war "is pretty silly, but this little show of spirit doesn't do any harm. It's fun, it shows spirit. Harvard is usually so apathetic."
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