Dunster House

By Caleb D. Schwartz
If you’re a fan of moose tracks ice cream and a goat roasting over an open fire (we’re very serious), then this classy house right on the Charles is truly the place for you. Just the right combo of historical and renovated, it’s hard to beat Dunster House.
By Rachel L. Reynolds

By Rachel L. Reynolds

If you’re a fan of moose tracks ice cream and a goat roasting over an open fire (we’re very serious), then this classy house right on the Charles is truly the place for you. Just the right combo of historical and renovated, it’s hard to beat Dunster House.

By Elena Ramos

All About Housing

After renovations ended just about four years ago, Dunster House still shines as one of the nicest living accommodations on campus. With an amazing dining hall, a great view of the Charles River, and hotel-like rooms, anyone lucky enough to receive this House is in for some great digs during their upperclassman years.

Sophomores can usually expect a quad with two doubles and a nice common room, hallway doubles, or the option of DeWolfe housing with their own spacious common rooms and kitchens. They live throughout the whole building, allowing for a great opportunity to get close to upperclassmen. And it only gets better from there. Dunster seniors are blessed with the bougiest suites around, featuring huge singles and common rooms, so look forward to only the best of housing for your final year.

The most famous suite in Dunster is known simply as “The Penthouse.” With its own separate lottery, this seven-person suite located on the fourth and fifth floors is notoriously difficult to gain; however, for those wanting the most extreme in comfort and fun, this is the place to be. And even for those who don’t end up living it up in the peak of luxury, residents typically throw parties open to the whole Dunster community, so you can still sneak a peek at this prime housing and its great view of the Charles.

Overall, students say one of the most beloved aspects of Dunster housing is its connected layout. This is a feature special to just a few houses, and according to former House Committee co-chair Emma M. Orcutt ’19, this is a big part of what makes the community in Dunster so unique. “One of the beautiful things about our house is that everything is so connected, so you never really have to leave. I think because of that, you end up seeing more people and creating an even closer community.” You really can’t beat Dunster housing.


Known lovingly by its residents as “DHaus” (or DHome as former HoCo co-chair Mitchell P. Johns ’19 likes to call it), Dunster prides itself on its close community and great, friendly people who live there. The faculty deans, Sean D. Kelly and Cheryl Chen, are also both philosophy professors, so you can be sure to get some great wisdom in any discussion you may have with them.

This great community in Dunster is a part of nearly every aspect of the house. There’s always a lot of kids wandering around which is sure to brighten anyone’s day after a long, caffeine-fueled night of pseting. The dining hall staff are always there to help, and the dhall is a great place to meet up with friends over some of the best food on campus. They’re always known to put up a good, spirited fight in intramurals, and the gym is said to be one of the nicest amenities Dunster has to offer (which lots of non-Dunster residents use because of this). There’s no way to avoid finding your place here in Dhaus.

There’s also the perfect common space for any type of person in Dunster House. Looking to snack and socialize? Check out Dunster Grille for the best in late night vibes. For those wanting a fun, warm place to sit during the summer months, the courtyard is centrally located with a beautiful view of the Charles and is the home of many Dunster events throughout the year (we’ll get to the goat thing soon). And for those looking for a more ~chill space~, the library is nice and quiet (and gives some major “Beauty and the Beast” vibes).

So for what you’re all probably wondering: What’s with the goat? Every year, Dunster hosts the Goat Roast, where a goat is purchased and roasted on a spit in the courtyard for a full day in the spring. Complete with bouncy castles, popcorn, and that perfect carnival vibe, this is sure to be one of the most exciting days of the year for any Dunster resident (despite how strange it may seem at first).

The fun events don’t stop there. Their biweekly steins are a great opportunity to connect with the Dunster community as a sort of Friday night pre-party, and on the off weeks there’s “Dunster Downtime” with more intimate events: anything from movie nights to Super Bowl watch parties (and always plenty of snacks). Dunster resident Gevin B. Reynolds ’19 captures the spirit of Dunster best: “My favorite thing is the people. Not only the students, but the tutors, the faculty deans, and other House staff too.”

Your Questions, Answered

Still want to know more about Dunster? We got up close and personal with last year’s HoCo Chairs for all the ~Dunster Deets~.

If your House was a restaurant in Harvard Square, what would it be?

MJ: My favorite is definitely Kong, but we’re not Kong.

EO: I feel like we’d be Henrietta’s Table? They’re overlooking the Charles, they’re classy...

MJ: And they have good food.

Describe your House in three words.

EO: Attractive, I think we’re funny...

MJ: Renovated, but very “Old Harvard.”

EO: Definitely very classic.

If you could change one thing about your House, what would it be?

EO: I wish Mitch and I could be HoCo Chairs forever. And that we had even more moose tracks ice cream.

Read our overviews of the other Houses here.

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