Thirstier Thursdays Ahead

While many Harvard students are content to simply grumble about the lack of social life and move on, three Leverett

While many Harvard students are content to simply grumble about the lack of social life and move on, three Leverett House residents decided a long time ago to improve nightlife themselves. The proactive partiers, roommates Wilson R.S. Prichard ’03, Aaron C. Lang ’03 and Jonathan B. Wood ’03, began throwing a weekly “Thirsty Thursday” in the fall of 2001, featuring sangria as an honored and regular guest. By the time the spring rolled around, the party had evolved from six people sitting in a common room to a Leverett House institution.

As the reputation of “Thirsty Thursday” grew, so did the noise it generated, drawing complaints from some House residents. Early this semester, the Leverett House administration put its proverbial foot down, commanding Prichard, Lang and Wood to discontinue their weekly get-togethers. The roommates are now banned from having more than three guests in their suite at a time.

Prichard, a tall, slender Canadian with a slight but discernable accent, gestures broadly to explain that “Thirsty Thursday” is a direct response to what he finds unpleasant about Harvard’s social life. “Fuck going out to Final Clubs or pretentious bars where there are people we don’t like,” he exclaims. “Why not just get our friends here with us?”

Prichard credits Senegalese tradition for inspiring “Thirsty Thursday,” after a summer there following his sophomore year. “In Senegal,” he says, “the greatest honor you can give is to invite people into your home.”

Charles J. Morrow’03, a weekly devotee of “Thirsty Thursday” remembers one particular gathering when Prichard and one of Prichard’s close friends stood in the middle of the room while the rest of the guests circled around them and sang the U2 classic “One.” “‘Thirsty Thursday’ was focused on friends and being together. It was about appreciating what we have,” Morrow says.

Unfortunately, FM was unable to speak directly with a Leverett tutor with regards to the recent dousing of “Thirsty Thursday.” Catherine Shapiro, Leverett’s Senior Tutor, however, was able to affirm by e-mail, “Leverett House is not anti-party.” Shapiro also stated, “Getting together with friends is wonderful, and when done right, absolutely builds community.”

For those who were regulars, who met new friends and drew closer to acquaintances at the parties, the end of the events are much more than a slight inconvenience. Prichard recounts the last party of the 2001-2002 school year. A party regular—and a graduating senior—climbed up on the couch and raised his glass. He proceeded to tell the room full of people with whom he had spent most every Thursday night for nine months how appreciative he was of their company. His emotions overwhelmed him and soon he was crying.

With the recent House decree and the prohibition against “Thirsty Thursday,” no doubt more tears will be shed by the party regulars who have said their final toasts.