Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Talks Justice, Civic Engagement at Radcliffe Day


Church Says It Did Not Authorize ‘People’s Commencement’ Protest After Harvard Graduation Walkout


‘Welcome to the Battlefield’: Maria Ressa Talks Tech, Fascism in Harvard Commencement Address


In Photos: Harvard’s 373rd Commencement Exercises


Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech

‘Not Going Down Without a Fight’: Harvard Students Decry Queen’s Head Closure

On Tuesday the College announced that the Queenshead Pub, pictured above in 2022, will permanently close at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.
On Tuesday the College announced that the Queenshead Pub, pictured above in 2022, will permanently close at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. By Aiyana G. White
By Madeleine A. Hung and Azusa M. Lippit, Crimson Staff Writers

More than 1,600 people signed a petition objecting to the permanent closure of the Harvard-run Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub, as staff members said they were “heartbroken” by the sudden Tuesday announcement.

Staff members learned of the closing at a meeting Tuesday evening with two representatives of Harvard University Dining Services and Dean of Students Office administrator Andy Donahue.

Jack G. Towers ’25 said the staff’s reaction in the meeting was “disbelief and shock.”

“No one wants to walk into a room with this community of coworkers that they’ve grown close to and have all of you find out you just lost your jobs,” he said.

While most Harvard-run cafes on campus are operated only by HUDS, the Queen’s Head Pub, located in the basement of Annenberg Hall, is also overseen by the DSO.

Tuesday’s meeting came after the pub had already closed its regular operations for the semester on April 19. According to student manager Tanner Humphrey ’23-’25, the pub’s budget for the fall had already been approved in March.

Alice R. Ferguson ’25, who has worked at the pub since it reopened in 2022, said hearing about the closing was a “complete surprise.”

“We closed our doors like last week, two weeks ago, and nothing was mentioned,” Ferguson said. “So we didn’t know that that was going to be our last shift ever. We didn’t know that we wouldn’t be coming back.”

When Dylan T. Driscoll ’24 learned about the closure, he said “it felt like my parents lost their house or something.”

Driscoll said he wanted more clarity about why Queen’s Head was closing.

“They didn’t really inform us of anything, except that we no longer had jobs at the pub next semester,” he said.

College spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo declined to comment, pointing to a Tuesday statement.

“We are grateful to all who have made the pub a special place. We have communicated with affiliates who worked at the pub about continued employment opportunities while we explore options to utilize the space for Harvard College students,” the DSO wrote in a statement.

Graduate student manager Delilah Brown, a student at the Harvard Extension School, said the timing of the meeting was “terrible” amid final exams, worsening frustrations among staff about a lack of student input in the decision to close.

“I think all of us are a little bit confused, frustrated, annoyed, and kind of disappointed that this decision to shape College students’ experience did not include the voices and the ideas and the consideration of College students,” Brown said.

Immediately after the meeting, Humphrey started the petition on to urge against the pub’s closure immediately following the meeting’s conclusion.

“We need to remind Harvard that you cannot make decisions about the future of student life with no student input!” the petition’s description reads.

Humphrey compared the number of signatories — more than 1,600 as of Wednesday evening — to student voter turnout in this spring’s elections for the Harvard Undergraduate Association, in which 1,445 students voted.

When announcing the decision, the Dean of Students Office informed staff members that they would be granted “first right of refusal” for shifts at other campus pubs and cafes.

However, some students expressed concerns about whether other locations could accommodate all the Queen’s Head staff members.

“First and foremost, this represents the eradication of jobs that students like myself use to make sure that they can afford to live here,” Humphrey said. “It’s really that simple.”

Students also expressed concerns that the daytime hours at other on-campus cafes might not work with their class schedules. Queen’s Head provided shifts at night where students could work after classes ended.

Sophia K. Magaro ’26 said the pub was one of the only spaces on campus where undergraduate students, graduate students, and other Harvard faculty and staff could gather together.

“It was just a really lovely space to be able to meet all these people and learn more about what there is at Harvard outside of my own circles,” Magaro said.

“Losing the pub means that we’re losing one of the few spaces that we have of this level of connection, because I personally do not know another space where I can go and talk to grad students,” she added.

Ferguson said working at the pub is “the best job ever.”

“Having this pub open to all members of the Harvard community is really emblematic of how integrated the Harvard system is, and how it’s open and inclusive to everyone,” she said.

Kyra S. Siegel ’25, who began working at the pub this semester, said she grew to love the student-run aspect of the pub.

“You enter, you clock in — if you’re working the kitchen you cook the food, and then you bus the tables, and you’re running around and it’s so high energy,” Siegel said.

“It’s such a magical place,” she added.

Zachary Tripsas, the pub’s manager who was employed full-time in the role by the DSO, said he was “heartbroken” by the decision, adding that the student staff members are the aspect of the pub he will miss most.

“Working with the students is my favorite part of the day,” Tripsas said. “Working in a restaurant space like that — it’s not glamorous, it can be hard and it has its challenges, but if you have good people around you it makes all the difference.”

Humphrey said the petition is only a “starting point,” adding that the staff plans to meet with a representative from the Harvard Undergraduate Workers Union-United Auto Workers, as well as alumni and donors.

“We’re not going down without a fight,” Humphrey said.

—Staff writer Madeleine A. Hung can be reached at

—Staff writer Azusa M. Lippit can be reached at Follow her on X @azusalippit or on Threads @azusalippit.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

CollegeStudent LifeCollege AdministrationStudent JobsLaborCollege NewsFeatured ArticlesFront Bottom Feature