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Cheers and Tears on a Snowy Housing Day

By Katherine E. Wang, Crimson Staff Writer

As colorful House flags and banners were raised in front of University Hall Thursday morning and various chants echoed across the Yard freshmen anxiously waited in their dorm rooms on the annual tradition of Housing Day.

Cheers of joy—and palpable silences—soon followed, as members of Harvard’s Class of 2021 discovered which of the 12 residential houses they would live in for the next three years.

To prepare for the festivities, upperclassmen started their days around 6 a.m., with some Houses coming even earlier to the Yard to claim the highly-coveted perch atop the John Harvard statue. Kirkland House reached the statue first this year, according to current House Committee Co-Chair Anne K. Mills ’19.

“Kirkland always gets here super early and sings and dances on the statue,” Mills said. “I’m not going to give times because we don’t want other Houses to steal our stuff.”

At 8:30 a.m., House Committee chairs rushed out of University Hall waving envelopes containing Housing assignments, ready to storm dorm rooms and welcome rising sophomores into their respective Houses.

Mills and former HoCo Co-Chair Handong Park ’18 both said that freshmen were generally glad to be assigned to Kirkland House, with one student particularly excited.

“She didn’t stop jumping until we left,” Mills said. “Frantically jumping,” Park added. “It was wild.”

Cabot dorm stormer Brian Y. Zhao ’19 said that the rising sophomores’ responses to their Cabot House placements were “better this year.”

When asked about his own Housing Day experience, he said, “I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt in the moment, but I’m really happy that I am in Cabot now.”

Blockmates Silvana Gomez ’21, Lucia M. Couto ’21, and Carolina Jimenez ’21 said they were “so excited” about their placement into Mather House.

“We just started screaming,” they said in unison. “I don’t think they had ever seen a group more excited to be in Mather.”

“The Latinx community is really big there, and it’s also just like—singles,” Gomez added.

Future Quincy residents Ryan R. Bayer ’21, Richard M. Sweeney ’21, William J. Matheson ’21, Benjamin L. Owens ’21 said the storming upperclassmen shouted different House names as they approached the freshmen’s room.

“When they were coming up the stairs, they were yelling Mather, then they switched to Cabot, and then we were really confused,” Owens said.

“It was exciting to open the door and have it be Quincy,” Sweeney added.

Although many students were excited about their House assignments, others were not as thrilled.

Blockmates Lydia Pan ’21, Peter J. Morrissey ’21, Alexandra S. Norris ’21, Natea E. Beshada ’21, Crimson editor Elizabeth H. Yang ’21, and Jacob A. Licht ’21 were placed into the Radcliffe Quadrangle’s Cabot House, with some members saying they were “actually really excited” about the placement, while others had mixed feelings.

“I think Cabot is certifiably best housing, nicest House, number one House, I can’t wait honestly,” Licht said .

Morrissey said the rest of the group’s first choice was Lowell House, but that they remain “optimistic.”

Leul S. Dadi ’21, who was placed into Pforzheimer House, also in the Quad, said his day had been “a mix of feelings” as well.

“I wasn’t expecting to get quadded,” Dadi said. “When Pfoho came into my room, I assumed they were joking. It’s alright though, I’m trying to make do.”

Dadi said he did a lot of “metric manipulations” in an attempt to not get quadded by “looking at the stats” and trends.

“It didn’t work,” he added with a laugh.

—Staff writer Katherine E. Wang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @katherineewang.

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