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House Committees Prepare to Welcome Freshmen Ahead of Housing Day

Members of Eliot House use noisemakers in the yard on Housing Day 2017
Members of Eliot House use noisemakers in the yard on Housing Day 2017 By Lauren A. Sierra
By Arnav Agrawal and Karina G. Gonzalez-Espinoza, Contributing Writers

Upperclassmen in the Houses are busily planning for Thursday's Housing Day festivities, when a campus-wide celebration will welcome each House's newest residents with videos, food, and fanfare.

Housing Day is an annual College tradition where first-year students receive their assignments to one of the 12 upperclassmen Houses. The bulk of the planning for the annual event occurs during the start of the spring semester with each House filming a Housing Day video, designing t-shirts, and ordering House merchandise for rising sophomores.

This year, the Houses in the Radcliffe Quadrangle—Cabot, Pforzheimer, and Currier—released an additional joint Housing Day video in a lighthearted effort to address the refrain that the Quad is too far, according to Cabot HoCo co-chair Jack W. Deschler ’19.

“One thing that we really love about being in the Quad is that it is a community as a neighborhood, aside from the community within the Houses,” Deschler said.

Deschler said that the three Houses decided to work on the video project together to show students that the Quad is not as far away from the Yard as people believe.

Nicholas C. Colon ’19, a Lowell House Committee co-chair, said that one of Lowell’s goals for this Housing Day is to impart their House traditions to the incoming group of students because Lowell is currently undergoing renovations. Until 2019, Lowell residents will live in several buildings scattered throughout Harvard Square in a set-up known as “swing housing.”

Colon said that Lowell intends to play recordings of their traditional Russian Orthodox bells at the end of the day in lieu of ringing the real ones.

“It’s introducing these traditions to freshmen who won’t be able to see them next year. Hoping that once we’re back into Lowell, they’ll really be able to grab onto them and really make sure that they’re at the forefront of Lowell House and Lowell House Community,” Colon said.

Residents of Winthrop House moved into their newly renovated complex in fall 2017. Trevor D. Noon ’19, Winthrop HoCo co-chair, wrote in an email that preparations for Housing Day will be relatively similar this year and the HoCo will hold activities in traditional spaces, like the Junior Common Room.

“We’re back in the House rather than being in swing. It’s nothing particularly different, just trying to get everyone excited about the new House and returning to older traditions in the JCR," he wrote.

After upperclassmen crowd the Yard and deliver housing assignments to eager freshmen, there will be afternoon and evening activities to welcome rising sophomores into the Houses. Colon said Lowell House will host their Thursday Tea, followed by community dinner, the same day to build House pride.

Deschler said that Cabot will introduce freshmen to the House’s “Big Fish, Little Fish” program where each blocking group is assigned a mentor the night of Housing Day—a reference to their House’s mascot. Deschler added that first-years assigned to Cabot will also receive free drinks at Cabot Cafe on Housing Day.

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