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Quincy House Removes Senior Standing Option

Next year, Quincy plans to house some students in Fairfax Hall at 1306 Mas. Ave. (left), Hampden Hall at 8 Plympton St. (center), and Ridgley Hall at 65 Mt. Auburn St.
Next year, Quincy plans to house some students in Fairfax Hall at 1306 Mas. Ave. (left), Hampden Hall at 8 Plympton St. (center), and Ridgley Hall at 65 Mt. Auburn St. By Daniel M. Lynch
By Nathalie R. Miraval and Jane Seo, Crimson Staff Writers

Rising juniors in Quincy House will not have the option of taking senior standing in the House’s upcoming rooming lottery, in which sophomores, juniors, and seniors can be assigned to three residential buildings in Harvard Square.

Housing will look very different for Quincy residents next year while Old Quincy, one of the House’s two residential buildings, is renovated—causing 180 students to live in the three alternate buildings called “swing housing.”

The Quincy House Masters detailed some of the changes in an email to residents on Wednesday.

In the past, rising juniors in Quincy could elect to take higher lottery numbers usually reserved for seniors, thereby abdicating their senior standing status the next year. This year, sophomores will not have that choice.

The old option frequently led to confusion when rooming choices came due, Quincy House Committee co-chair Catherine G. Katz ’13 said.

“Senior standing caused more trouble than it’s worth,” Katz said. “I’d say people are fine with [removing] it.”

Scott J. Yim ’13, Katz’s co-chair, said that the drastic renovations to Old Quincy will eventually equalize housing quality, eliminating the need for senior standing.

In the meantime, students living in swing housing will enjoy desirable rooms, the Masters said. “We have personally toured the spaces, and we can assure you that they are quite nice,” Masters Deborah J. and Lee Gehrke wrote, adding that the suites, which contain mostly double bedrooms, all include their own bathrooms and kitchenettes.

Swing housing will be located in Hampden Hall at 8 Plympton St., Fairfax Hall at 1306 Mass. Ave., and Ridgely Hall at 65 Mt. Auburn St.

Some students say the swing spaces’ physical distance from Quincy House’s dining hall and common rooms may make it difficult for students living there to feel integrated into the House community.

“I think it’s inevitable people are going to feel detached, because you are not near the dining hall and the courtyard,” Yim said. “But in the end, I think it will bring us even closer together as we work hard to meet this challenge.

Last April, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith told The Crimson that the three buildings were chosen based on their proximity to Quincy as well as “the ability of the physical infrastructure of the buildings to recreate a normal House experience.”

Yim said that Quincy HoCo members plan to deliver freshly baked cookies to students in swing housing and allocate more funds for Penguin Pub, Quincy’s Stein Club.

The Gehrkes could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Quincy is the first of Harvard’s 12 Houses to undergo construction as part of the College’s House Renewal project. Administrators have said that they intend for Old Quincy to serve as a “test project” for future renovations.

Leverett’s oldest residential building, McKinlock Hall, will be next.

—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can be reached at

—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at

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