The blog of The Harvard Crimson

How To Blow Your BoardPlus in 5 Days

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{shortcode-9e9fa0c2aa2fb53c0c42c09a615a022ba8a2f355}Now that school is cancelled, we know that there is only one thing on your mind: how to best take advantage of the BoardPlus you have left so Harvard doesn’t scam you out of something else. As someone who forgets about BoardPlus until the last week of spring semester every year, here are the best ways to burn Boardplus quickly.

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Hold Office Hours

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This is the last time you will see your friends for who knows how long. Leave them with the gift of BoardPlus goodies. Set up camp in Northwest Labs and buy them whatever their heart desires. Bonus points if you get more than 25 people there!

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Ditch the Dhalls

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Especially stressed about catching the ’rona? The cafés around campus are great for breakfast or lunch, and will have less people than the dhall. Check out those ridiculously expensive Barker Cafe sandwiches or go all out at the Grille – treat yourself before it’s over.

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Get a Cake from Lamont Cafe

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Throw one last banger (or at least a sad packing party) and pick up a whole cake from Annenberg that sells for ~$30. Great way to get rid of mass amounts of BoardPlus and celebrate your last days on campus.

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Get Snacks for the Road/Plane

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Right before you uber to the airport, stop by and pick up some snacks from any BoardPlus location for the long journey home. A last ditch attempt to use BoardPlus and a great way to avoid inflated airport prices.

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While times are tough, always remember: if you are not scamming, you are getting scammed.

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In/Out: February and March 2020

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With the events of the last few weeks, it may be difficult to imagine what life was like just a month ago. Somehow, though, it seems that February and March of 2020 may have more in common than we thought… In all seriousness, we wish everyone a healthy, safe, and relaxing Spring Break. And if you’re ever feeling down, Flyby will always be here to turn that frown upside down!

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Housing Market 2020: Quincy

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{shortcode-f7348ddaaac4cd071fd6d9f7eaead09f4e22d878}If you’re in Quincy, there’s no need to schedule lunches eight months in advance or worry that you’ll never again be able to stare across the dhall at your crush who got Quadded. With a game room in its lobby, a retro-style Grille, an ideal central location, and a sunlit dhall that welcomes all, you’ll always find someone you know hanging out at “The People’s House.”

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All About Housing

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Quincy House offers the best of both worlds. It features a neo-Georgian exterior that curates a sense of bookish intrigue, along with modern and open social spaces that lie inside for Quincy residents.

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Most sophomores live in hallway singles or doubles in the newly renovated Stone Hall. It is a space that also features lively common rooms, which are loved by residents like House Committee co-chair Mahalia G. Mathelier ’21. Some sophomores live in DeWolfe, Harvard’s apartment-style overflow housing; but its location across the street ensures that Quincy students stay closely integrated into the House community.

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Special features of the House include the Qube, which is a raised, glass-enclosed library that overlooks the courtyard. The perfect place to settle down with a book or watch the sun gradually set, Quincy residents may almost find grinding out p-sets enjoyable.

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Also overlooking the courtyard is the famed Balcony Suite. Each year, groups — typically seniors — take on a sixth floor suite with a spacious common area and a luxurious balcony — basically the ideal party space. On most weekends, Quincy residents can find a party just a few steps away from the comfort of their warm beds, which is a big change from the days of trekking out to the Quad.

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Community

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When asked what makes Quincy so special, HoCo co-chair Reeda Iqbal ’21 was quick to describe how Quincy has “such a great community. We all care so much about each other, and I would say a lot of people would agree that we’re very connected.” Mathelier chimed in, “Q-U-I/N-C-Y/Quincy ‘til the day I die.” They also pointed to Quincy’s reputation as “The People’s House,” as those from the Quad or River East often dine here. With dinners that are typically unrestricted, you can rest assured that you will actually see friends who you didn’t end up blocking with. And when your entryway finally does their reunion dinner here, it will feel so convenient that you might actually go.

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Hallmark events such as the nerf gun game of Assassins, Cake Boss competition, lip sync battle, and Field Day are saved for Quincy residents. The House also hosts elegant Champagne Toasts and Open Houses in the faculty deans’ PentHouse. Mathelier eagerly elaborated, “The PentHouse is beautiful. Especially when the weather is nice outside, so beginning of the school year, end of the school year, the view from the balcony is beautiful.” There are also bi-weekly themed Festas that serve as a relaxed social gathering with fun themes, music, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There are even food options like Popeyes! Other initiatives include free group outings to popular campus events like the Hasty Pudding show and Quincy Kettles, where faculty are invited to the House to meet with students.

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In the dhall lobby, groups of students can always be found playing billiards or going head-to-head in ping pong or foosball. Tucked away inside the building complex, there is also a dance studio, a gym, and a pottery studio for those looking to de-stress with niche hobbies. The Grille also draws in students from all over campus who are looking to give their Board Plus a break from LamCaf. With fan-favorites like mozzarella sticks, curly fries, and rotating specialties named after notable House figures, the Grille hits the spot no matter how you’ve spent your night. Quincy resident Amanda C. Yang ’22 described her House with the three words: “Quincy — best House,” and then followed up with the four word phrase: “I love Quincy Grille.”

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Your Questions, Answered

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How would you recognize a Quincy resident?

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MM: If they waddled like a penguin.

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RI: Aw, I love that.

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What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your House?

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MM: That we are the best House.

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RI: It’s amazing.

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What is the biggest misconception that people have?

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MM: That Lowell’s better. That’s false. Also that New Quincy is new.

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RI: Yeah, because Stone Hall used to be known as Old Quincy, but now it’s Stone Hall.

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

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RI: Nothing.

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MM: I would start calling new Quincy New Quincy, I would end the confusion.

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What food would your House be and why?

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MM: Pie. We’re comforting, delicious, just the best, we’re the thing that everyone loves.

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RI: Regardless of how full they are.

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MM: Yeah, and we’re not ice cream, we don’t make people’s tummies hurt.

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Who would the ice cream be?

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RI: Mather. Well…

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MM: Well, Mather is a House.

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Around the House

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Throughout the dhall, groups of friends catch up over a meal, a Harvard phenomenon that is less elusive for Quincy residents than it is for most. When asked to describe her House in a few words, Bente van Vlijmen ’20 came up with an impressive list: “Home, genuine, kindness, family, and clout.”

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Even a non-Quincy resident admitted that the “Quincy dining hall is the place to be seen.”

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Housing Market 2020: Lowell

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{shortcode-b3105af102784793a42cdb252d8e22368fc3220e}Amongst the undecipherable chit chat filling Annenberg, it’s quite common to hear first-years expressing their wish to be placed in Lowell House. Oh, what a dream it would be to spend the next three years living in college housing that resembles a hotel. And while the housing lottery is randomized (despite the many attempts to crack the code), we know quite a few people who have their minds set on the crème de la crème of housing: Lowell House.

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All About Housing

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On the drive into Cambridge, Lowell House’s shiny blue bell tower comes into view, reminding visitors and students alike of Harvard’s architectural beauty and history. Most freshmen will be placed into other houses (and grow to love them), but a few lucky ones will be welcomed by the warm embrace of the Lowell community on Housing Day.

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Just on the surface, living in Lowell House is a literal dream come true. We can assure you that the physical amenities are to die for. Sitting in the library or the JCR makes us want to open up our books and finish that p-set due tomorrow. Gym? Duh. Squash courts? Of course. Art room? C’mon. Music room? Yes. Screening room? Are you kidding?! Of course there’s a screening room; it’s the cherry on top of the delicious sundae that is Lowell House. In addition to these features, Lowell also houses pool tables, a kitchen, an opera practice room (more on this later), and a screening room (we had to repeat that because the Lowell House screening room is just that awesome).

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Community

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Beneath the physical surface of the newly renovated Lowell House are traditions and a sense of community that permeate throughout House life. Lowell House Committee chair Andrew Castillo ‘21, noted that “Lowell is very much encapsulated in some of its traditions.” Events include Lowell House Tea and Glowell, a rave beneath Lowell’s crystal chandeliers.

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Castillo’s HoCo co-chair Ross D. Simmons ’21 likes to describe Lowell House as this “juxtaposition” of bougie and debaucherous. In addition to these events, Lowell residents participate in May Day, a pagan holiday, Trivia Nights between the Junior Common Room and Senior Common Rooms, and other unique traditions. Lowell Speeches, a newer house tradition, further fosters the sense of community amongst house residents. The Lowell House Opera is another unique feature of Lowell, as a professional opera performs in the dining hall. The party on opening night is described by Ross as “legendary.” Yule Dinner and Bacchanalia are other Lowell House specialties sure to add to Lowell House’s grandeur.

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Most importantly, what would Lowell House be without the people? Resident Dean Caitlin M. Casey ’03 and Faculty Deans David I. Laibson ’88 and Nina Zipser are all essential to Lowell House. David and Nina are both new to their roles, but despite this, they strive to know each and every student in Lowell House and will sit down for individual meals with students to get to know them better. Though the title “Dean” has a more serious connotation, Castillo remarked that David and Nina are “welcoming” and “warm.”

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While other houses have a House Committee, Lowell House has a Programming Committee whose goal is to “stimulate intellectual life” throughout the house. Famous professors and speakers, such as Stephen A. Pinker and Louis Menand, have been invited to speak and share with students topics of interest. Lowell House’s Senior Common Room is amongst the most vibrant and strong of all the houses, as it includes professors and others ranging from Drew Faust to Claudine Gay and many others. Castillo added that the Lowell tutors have been “absolutely integral to my experience [at Harvard].” Both HoCo Chairs agree that Lowell House would not be Lowell House without the tutors.

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Your Questions, Answered

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And now, a few more questions we just had to ask.

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What have been some past Housing Day videos?

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RS: “Get Lowell.” The best housing day video ever made. There is no competition. They were still playing “Get Lowell” last year [in Annenberg on Housing Day] from 2013. Best Housing Day video. Go watch “Get Lowell” (*snaps*).

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AC: We are trying to rival it this year.

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Three words to describe Lowell House?

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RS: Occasionem Cognosce, which is the House motto — “recognize the occasion.”

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AC: Classy, but turnt.

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RS: I think our words mean the same thing.

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If Lowell House were a Starbucks drink, what would it be?

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RS: Caramel Macchiato

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AC: We’re not a Starbucks drink. [...] I would say we’re like a cafe somewhere in LA.

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If Lowell House were a restaurant in the Square, what would it be?

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AC: I would say Flour. Flour’s a good one. But also, Peet’s Coffee is pretty good too. One of those two.

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RS: We are not Mather, which is clearly Pinocchio’s.

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If Lowell House were an emoji, what would it be?

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AC: The little party hat one with the [confetti] blower.

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RS: That’s what I was thinking.

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Housing Market 2020: Adams

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{shortcode-315d91d16b7e3d507d7763a5de47a7219ccffca1}Adams is worth its weight in gold, and we’re not just talking about its gilded rooms. The location is ideal: far enough from the busy Yard and its tourists but close enough to your classes that you can still operate on Harvard Time. In Adams, you’ll not only get to partake in experiences like Fireside Chats in front of FDR's fireplace or perform at Drag Night — you’ll get to leave your mark by adding a mural to its underground tunnels.

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All About Housing

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Sophomores in Adams have been typically placed in Claverley Hall, which is currently undergoing construction and will open in August. Due to the renovations this year, sophomores have been housed all over in swing housing and in the main Adams building. Most sophomores receive n+1 housing, complete with spacious common rooms and even some kitchens. The dorms themselves will bring you back to the house’s Gold Coast era with accents like wood-etched details, fireplaces, and iron door handles. Housing will only improve after renovations are complete: the architects of Adams House’s renewal project recently revealed their plan for 79 percent of students to live in singles and 77 percent to be in suites.

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As for party spaces, Adams has plenty of places to host social gatherings. The K-Space, two rooms in the F entryway basement, can hold slightly over fifty people. Adams also has the Molotov in D entryway — a red and yellow room with a bar and “Explosives” written on the door. However, the House’s best social space is probably the Adams Senior House, a three-story building seniors have the option to lottery for that is currently under construction. Best of luck to all the seniors hoping to be the first to break it in.

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Community

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In addition to being the house “where all the action happens," Adams has an undeniable sense of community and a contagious house pride that comes through in its 2019 Housing Day video. A favorite memory of Adams House Committee Secretary Milan M. Williams ‘21 is last year’s Housing Day event, which around 500 people — nearly the entire house — attended. She recalls the Housing Day stars performing the song from the video.

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“The house loved it so much,” she said. “Everyone knew the lyrics — they were singing along and it was like a concert."

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Every Thursday night, Adams House holds its stein — Carpe Noctem — for around 100 to 200 weekly attendees. Beyond Carpe, Adams hosts several annual events including Chocoholica, a Valentine’s day party centered around chocolate tasting that is one of the house’s “sweetest (and spiciest) traditions,” according to the vent announcement. One of Adams’ oldest annual events is its annual Drag Night. Historically, Adams has been a space where LGBTQ students on campus felt welcome expressing their identities. Adams House Committee Social Chair Katie M. Farkouh '21 explains that it was out of this history and on-campus community that Adams House started having an annual Drag Night.

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Behind the great sense of community are the Faculty Deans Sean and Judith S. “Judy” Palfrey ’67 who are certainly beloved within the house. Katie and Milan described Sean and Judy as “phenomenal,” adding that they “engage with students all the time” and “really have our best interests at heart.” They also come to nearly every house event, so you’re sure not to miss them!

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Your Questions, Answered

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How would you describe your house in three words?

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MW: Inclusive.

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KF: Welcoming.

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MW: High Energy.

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If you had to change one thing about your house, what would it be?

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KF: The K Space.

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MW: Yeah, it’s been around for a while. It’s been through a lot of major parties.

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KF: It becomes super, super packed and it’s in the basement. So it’s fun, you know, but at the same time, it sometimes gets a little too crazy.

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Which superheroes would you say your faculty deans are most like and why?

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MW: Judy’s definitely Wonder Woman. I feel like Sean can be, like, an Iron Man situation.

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KF: Yeah, very selfless in every single way.

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What do you hope for with the renovations?

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MW: I think I hope it preserves Adams House’s character and Adams House’s history.

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Housing Market 2020: Winthrop

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{shortcode-0e5cd17ae76e64f2c628ae1f90788b2ae7e869dc}Whether it be the lack of hallway doubles, the abundance of luxurious amenities, or the consistent social events, Winthrop has all that you can ask for and more. The warm, welcoming community Winthrop fosters will instantly create a home away from home. Winthrop House truly has it all.

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All About Housing

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Along with the beautiful exterior of Winthrop comes some of the best housing this campus has to offer. House Committee co-chair Christopher M. Altizer ’21 says, “You’re either getting a hallway single — majority get hallways single — or, they’ll put you in a room with a double connected to another double.” In addition to hallway singles and 4-man suites, there are also 6-man, three doubles, and a common room, suites that may be available to sophomores, depending on what rooms are left after the juniors and seniors choose. “The common rooms are huge,” HoCo co-chair, Becca H. Amesbury ‘21, states. Altizer adds, “The common rooms are massive. They’re ridiculously, shockingly, large common rooms.” Sophomores are not confined to one area of Winthrop; rather, they can expect to be spread all throughout the House.

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In addition to the solid sophomore housing situation, Winthrop also prides itself on the vast variety of amenities it offers, including a library, gym, art room, music rooms, the Barren rooftop common room, Junior Common Room, and Senior Common Room, all spread out evenly between Standish and Gore Hall. The JFK suite has also recently been remodeled, so that now it is a room to host a variety of Institute of Politics events and faculty talks, among other options. Whether you feel like playing pool, watching TV, or hanging out with some friends at the Lion’s Den, Winthrop has it all. To satisfy those late-night cravings, you can head to the Winthrop Grille which is always lively, or if you even feel like meditating, you can find your zen in the Meditation Room.

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Community

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Not only are Winthrop’s amenities truly fulfilling, but the House also boasts a welcoming community. “This House really means a lot to us. It’s completely changed my college experience. The community here is unlike any community I’ve had before...I could sit here and talk for years about how much I love this House and how much the community has done for me,” Altizer says. The faculty deans have played an important role in creating the community Winthrop sees today. Whether it be hanging artwork around the House, bringing Insomnia Cookies around the House during finals week, or simply giving you a hug in the dining hall, they are constantly putting in an effort to further strengthen the community Winthrop already exhibits. It doesn’t just end there though, according to students. The energy that they bring is reflected off to everyone else, including the House staff, dining hall staff, tutors, and the students. “They care so much about making it feel like home for every student,” Amesbury states.

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HoCo chairs Altizer and Amesbury both urge freshmen to not be afraid to talk to upperclassmen and to get involved with the House. “Please come talk to us; we’re so excited to meet you,” Altizer says. But Amesbury adds in, “Don’t be afraid to sit in the dining hall by yourself.” Altizer says, “This community is really strong because of the people and how well we interact with each other.”

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One of the most popular events that Winthrop hosts is their annual Throptoberfest, which is a one-day event that occurs in Winthrop Courtyard. In the past, Throptoberfest had a bouncy house, candy apple making, a variety of fall-themed drinks and food, lawn games, and a fall ivy-themed photo area. “We don’t really have a big all-campus event...but Throptober fest is becoming that...It’s so much fun and a lot of people ended up coming,” Amesbury remarks. Additionally, every other Thursday night, Winthrop hosts Steins in the Lion’s Den. With food, drinks, fun music, and a selection of themes, Steins prove to consistently be a good time.

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As for intramurals, Winthrop has been doing fairly well. They are doing better than last year and are consistently improving. Winthrop won the Straus Cup a couple of years in a row.

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Overall, Altizer confidently says, “Winthrop is on an upward trend and we’re nowhere near plateau. Period.”

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Your Questions, Answered

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We sat down with the HoCo chairs to get the inside scoops of life in Winthrop.

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What is the biggest misconception about Winthrop?

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CA: People think…that this house is very sterile.

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BA: Oh yeah…

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CA: They’ll say that it looks somewhat like a hotel, but, to be honest, I don’t know why they’re complaining.

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If you were to describe Winthrop in three words, what would they be?

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BA: Energy, Community, Home.

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What is the most special part of Winthrop?

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BA: I think our faculty deans. We have interim faculty deans right now, just for this year, but they have done so much to build the community of this House. Whether it’s their open houses, which they have very frequently…

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CA: There’s one happening right now.

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BA: Or, they come to our IM games, which is just the cutest thing, they’re always around in the dining hall talking to us...They’ve really helped make this place so special.

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Housing Market 2020: Kirkland

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{shortcode-63f7b0bdb67aea2b637489555be726f27499548c}Though small in size, Kirkland is overflowing with spirit, puppies, and an overall sense of community! When you join K-House, quirky and spirited events like Secret Santa Week and Kirkland Drama Society productions are just the beginning to your charming new life by the River.

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All About Housing

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As a member of Kirkland, you’ll enjoy being tucked away into a cozy corner of the beautiful River West neighborhood. Situated near both Pinnochio’s and the Malkin Athletic Center, you are well on your way to living a balanced life of pizza and ellipticals over the next three years The Kirkland dining hall, however, is truly famous in its own right — read: gleaming white columns, glowing chandeliers, and dark wood tables). Sophomores typically live in suites of three to four with a common room and in-suite bathroom, making for a smooth transition from what is rather typical for a freshman set-up. If you’re up for it, though, look forward to the potential eight-man or 10-man suites, such as the famous B-51/52 10-men referred to lovingly as “the Beef.”

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Within the small house, the best spots to hang out are centered around the tight-knit nature of the student community. Get ready to hit up the Grille not only for its delicious mozzarella sticks, but also as the location of frequent Steins and sports-viewing events, or the charming dining hall where you are guaranteed to see a familiar face. You can be seen there “p-setting or grabbing a nightly cup of cereal,” as House Committee co-chair Andrea J. Zhang ’22 says.

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Craving some of that classic, old mahogany charm you expected Harvard to be all about? Kirkland’s John Hicks House, built in 1762 and named after one of the participants in the Boston Tea Party, is a beautiful library and hang-out space for Kirkland residents. The antique study space is transformed into a “Haunted Hicks” House during Halloween, making for a fun annual tradition that students look forward to each year.

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Community

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If you’re sorted into K-House, get ready for a true fanfare of love, community, and genuine House spirit. Zhang constantly reiterates the way in which one is “always surrounded by love” as one of the best things about the House. Don’t believe it? Wait until you get to Secret Santa Week.

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“It’s the wildest thing at Harvard, it’s just nonsense,” claims Josh I. Stern ’21. During this house-wide event, over half of the students participate to some extent in making the wishes of their Secret Santees come true, ranging from marching band performances to surprising recipients with appearances of loved ones from back homes. If you’re looking for other ways to show House spirit, you can watch your fellow Kirklanders act out Shakespeare parodies as members of the Kirkland Drama Society, or let loose at the Winter Formal after-party, known to most as Incestfest (name subject to change), in the Beef.

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Smaller touches and quirks help to make Kirkland a close-knit community. With both an impressive record of intramural victories and a wonderfully robust puppy population, Kirkland is truly the place to be. Tutors also help students feel supported and appreciated, hosting frequent discussions and Monday night book clubs with freshly baked cookies.

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There is no end to the perpetual pride and fondness Kirklanders feel for their beloved home. The Kirkland Ode, chanted during dorm storming, perfectly summarizes that unique sense of belonging and family that only a few hundred lucky students are able to experience each year: “Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! You are so good to me. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! You are the place to be. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! Damn you are so fine. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! Thank God that you are mine.”

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Your Questions, Answered

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How would you describe Kirkland in three words?

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AZ: Spirited...loving… [to friend passing by in the dining hall] Ben, want to help me of a word?

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Ben A. Roy ’20: Definitely quirky.

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If Kirkland were a fruit, what fruit would it be and why?

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AZ: A small watermelon...it’s very sweet because Kirkland always fills us with love. You know when in the summer you take a bite of watermelon and it refreshes you? That's what coming from summer break back to Kirkland in the fall is like.

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What was your biggest misconception about Kirkland as a freshman?

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AZ: I just didn’t know what it was or what it had to offer...I feel like people place an undue weight on renovations...but House community and spirit are so much more important because that just shapes how I feel in the House.

', [, , , , ])

Housing Market 2020: Eliot

('

{shortcode-efa1596aaf441acddc46205b9dfbe9e4c114ceb3}If you’re fortunate enough to hear people chanting “E-L-I-O-T, you just won the lottery!” as they approach your door on the morning of Housing Day, you’ll be a part of the lucky group to be welcomed into this warm and buzzing House. With gorgeous, year-round views of the Charles River and festivities galore, Eliot House has it all. Here’s a toast to your new home, “Floreat domus de Eliot!”

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All About Housing

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As an incoming sophomore, you’ll most likely end up in n-1 suites, but suite setups can vary widely depending on which of the fifteen entryways (A-O) you belong to. Like most Houses, seniors and juniors have first pick in the lottery system, but Eliot sets aside certain suites in the House that are fully guaranteed for sophomores. Bathrooms are in-suite, and some even have three sinks, so rest assured that you’ll never have to set foot inside a hallway bathroom again.

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If you’re looking for a place to party, Eliot’s got it all covered: the “Cockpit” in C Entryway has its own bar and pong table, and “Ground Zero” in the basement is another casual space for Eliotites and visitors alike to drop by and have a good time. To all the history lovers out there, these party suites were named after World War II lingo in honor of the air force pilots who took shelter in Eliot House during the war. So that means you can dance the night away feeling patriotic at the same time!

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Eliot also comes fully equipped with fun amenities, from a dance studio in the basement and a music tower with Leonard Bernstein’s piano, to a darkroom for photography and even a woodshop where seniors build their own diploma frames! The dining hall is always a great place to chat with friends or grind on late night p-sets, and you’ll also find residents of the House flocking toward the ‘80’s-themed Grille for social gatherings or a quick bite before bedtime. Eliot also has a back gate where residents can swipe in. You can walk into Eliot’s spacious courtyard straight from Memorial Drive, a perfect addition for athletes and future SEAS concentrators coming from across the river.

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Community

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It’s no surprise that students in Eliot value community more than anything else. In addition to providing its expansive dhall as a common space for faculty dinners, daily meals, or casual meetups, sophomores also get to go on special outings. In the past, these activities have ranged from laid-back trips to Wards Berry Farm for ice cream to heated mini-golf tournaments between tutors and undergrads. With so many things to do and places to explore in the company of fellow Eliotites, you’ll be sure to feel at home.

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At the end of every spring, Eliot hosts its annual Fête celebration, inviting students in the House to bring plus ones, kick back, and enjoy the fun. Lined with ice sculptures and champagne glasses, the dhall and JCR serve delicious food and drinks to the music of an indoor DJ and live band performing in the outdoor courtyard. In this night club/swing band atmosphere where disco meets groovy, Fête brings together the best of both old and new worlds.

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Between formals every season, Eliot’s steins also serve as a great way to foster community. Some are holiday-themed, such as Jack-o-Lantern carving on Halloween-Eve, while others are more general, ranging from karaoke, speed-dating, and even painting Eliot tunnels.

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Eliot has also been going strong in Intramural Sports this past year, placing top three in the recent dodgeball tournament. One of Eliot’s sources of pride is the Eliot Boat Club. Thanks to Eliot’s proximity to the Charles, the Boat Club stays committed throughout the year, training no matter the weather. For the same reason, you’ll often see athletes walking in and out of Eliot after practice (especially crew). This all goes to show that Eliotites have the mental and physical spirit to seize a decisive victory!

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The Faculty Deans and tutors have also established a really close relationship with students. Although both Faculty Deans, Douglas “Doug” A. Melton and Gail O’Keefe, are expected to leave this year, House Committee co-chair Zach R. Fraley ‘21 expresses how much he’s appreciated having them around, saying that “Eliot’s amazing community will continue to grow thanks to all of their work and love for the House.”

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Your Questions, Answered

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We met with HoCo chairs Zach R. Fraley ‘21 and Jason S. Lee ‘21 to give us the inside scoop on Eliot.

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What is the most common misconception people have about Eliot?

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ZF: A lot of students will say Eliot is old and dingy, but the people and food definitely make up for it!

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What makes the food at Eliot so good?

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JL: Eliot is the HQ of Crimson Catering, which provides bread for the entire university as well as soup to the Berg.

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Do you have anything else you want to say to first-year students who get Eliot?

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Both: You just won the lottery!!

', [, , , , ])

Housing Market 2020: Mather

('

{shortcode-6e0e9bb2075638241baab5217f4c4bbd4396f898}In its 50th year, Mather House is teeming with House spirit, a welcoming community, and incredible tutors. Any freshman would be lucky to join this fun-loving house, not to mention have a single every year.

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All About Housing

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Matherites are lucky to have spacious housing — sometimes with a river view — all three years. Mather’s two buildings, the Lowrise and the Tower, feature singles, many within n+1 suites. According to Mather’s House Committee chairs, sophomores tend to live on the third floor of the Lowrise, juniors on the fourth floor of the Lowrise, and seniors in the Tower. “Honestly all the sophomore and junior housing is good party housing, because they all have the same large common room,” HoCo Co-Chair Anna Peng ‘21 says.

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But Mather is great for more than just its housing; it also features great amenities. The House has a tranquility room for yoga and relaxation, a pottery room, the big TV room, a newly renovated library, and tunnels to get anywhere in the house without stepping foot outside—which is key in the winter months. The Junior Common Room is an extremely popular party space, so Matherites don’t have to go far (or outside at all) to go out on the weekends.

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Community

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The HoCo Co-Chairs couldn’t overstate their love for the Mather house community.

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“The community I feel is really strong, and I think that’s something I didn’t think would matter when I was a freshman, but as a sophomore and junior I’ve realized it’s really important to have a strong house community and [to] have administrators who care about you and want to get to know you,” HoCo Co-Chair Nicholas Lore-Edwards ‘21 says.

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Peng added that the house administration and the tutors are central to the house community: “Our Faculty Deans, our Resident Dean, our House Administrator, and all of our tutors really make a huge effort to meet the students and then have events like study breaks that actually help students meet each other… They really want tutors that will go out of their way to meet all of the students and participate in house life.”

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Another unique aspect of the Mather community is that the HoCo hosts “happy hours” instead of steins. In other houses, a stein is essentially a fun community gathering put together by HoCo with drinks, food, and music that happens once a week (depending on the house). Happy hours take place on Friday nights, with “strobe lights and lots of food and lots of loud music, and water pong,” says Lore-Edwards, “It’s kind of like people go out to happy hour, instead of like, a stein, I feel like is different than that.”

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The Mather dhall was also highlighted as a key community-gathering space in the house. “In the dining hall, there’s usually only people who live here, since it’s farther, so like when you go to the dining hall you recognize everyone, so I feel like that just creates a nice community, because it’s not like one of the closer houses where it’s constantly like random people in the dining hall,” says Lore-Edwards.

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Mather is also the reigning intramural champion. “We did win the Straus Cup last year, and we’re first in IMs currently, but I think the IMs is like one thing that really brings people together, people get really behind that,” said Peng.

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Clearly, when it comes to house spirit, Mather’s (Straus) cup runneth over.

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Your Questions, Answered

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If you could describe Mather in three words, what would they be?

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AP & NLE: Fun, quirky, and welcoming!

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What are Mather’s go-to events?

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AP: Mather Lather and Mather Prom (spring formal)

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NLE: All Mather first-years get in free to Mather prom!

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What are the best places to chill and hang out in the house?

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AP: People love the dhall. I think the dhall is a really nice place to hang out. There’s a lot of cozy areas to study and sit.

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NLE: We have a coffee bar in the SCR every Sunday, that’s really nice… One of the tutors makes cappuccinos and lattes and stuff.

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Why did you run for HoCo?

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NLE: I think Mather has a really good HoCo. They do a lot and we have a good community and people actually come to our events. Really just because I like the House a lot, I like the people, that’s the main reason.”

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AP: I was also on HoCo my sophomore year. Mather has such a great house spirit, so I think like I want to be a part of that hype, people just get so excited about things in Mather, so it's like really nice to be able to facilitate that. And the people are amazing and being able to throw fun things for people is really great.

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What’s the biggest misconception about Mather?

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NLE: It’s not that far. The Mather Express picks up right outside of Mather every 10 minutes and takes you to Widener, Lamont, even Northwest. Mather to Lamont, is like, such a short walk. There’s always parties going on in this area. Now it’s close to Kung Fu Tea, which is a big selling point.

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What’s your favorite House memory?

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AP: Dorm storming and people yelling “Mather” everywhere. We danced on Dunster’s table [in Annenberg] and had the Happy Hour which was a lot of fun... it was great.

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If Mather were a fruit, what fruit would it be?

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NLE: It has a rough exterior like an avocado, but it’s really soft and mushy on the inside, with like a nice, strong, core.

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AP: That’s good.

', [, , , , ])

Housing Market 2020: Leverett

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{shortcode-a3aa88c6be05ab9a655ee4ebb77dab8838ba524e}Boasting a large, tight-knit community and surprisingly spacious rooms, Leverett’s reputation as a great house on campus is no secret. Looking for community and great architecture? Then look no further than the Bunny Court itself! Don’t get too mesmerized by the modern paintings near the dining hall, though.

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{shortcode-76da03fb69d3f314faf8174a72023ddf6031b0d3}

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All About Housing

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Cramped doubles? Bunk beds? Never fear — sophomore housing in Leverett is beautiful and spacious. Sophomores have the options of living in DeWolfe, the Towers, and McKinlock, all of which boast top-notch living conditions and great party spaces.

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Mackenzie Smith ’20 explained that as a sophomore, “you have a pretty high chance of getting a pretty good room,” citing DeWolfe’s “two-bedroom doubles,” which come with “a common room, kitchen, and a bathroom.” The Towers boast their own massive singles with amazing views of the river, and McKinlock’s giant hallway doubles are enough to please any undergrad. Miranda L. Mize ’20, a member of HoCo, described the towers as “apartment-like,” with mostly singles that make for good housing.

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Benji P. Wenzelberg ’21 further added that Leverett housing is special because sophomores know their junior-year room by mid-spring and don’t have to worry about it over the summer.

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Community

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As the largest house on campus, Leverett’s community is bustling and diverse. Leverett’s residential and building staff are fully committed to making it an inclusive space. Wenzelberg described it as one of the most “wholesome” houses on campus, which makes sense given its special steins and bunny-filled courtyard. Wenzelberg explained that Leverett’s steins “celebrate the week with some food, some beverages, and just a wonderful sense of community” on community night. Who wouldn’t want to stop by for Greek donuts?

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{shortcode-9ec1edfd08ea150119cb33a187ad29adf60b7a71}

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Mize agrees, citing her own experience of joining HoCo. “Lev changed my life at Harvard,” she said. “It gave me everything I wanted to get out of the housing lottery. It gave me a community of adults like the tutors and Faculty Deans… who are basically like family to me… it has really provided me with a home.”

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Paul J. Hegarty, the beloved building manager of Leverett, agrees. He said he believes the tight community is the product of people who work to make it their home and that “[everyone] does their part,” including the students. Hegarty says his favorite part about Leverett is the diversity of students — he engages with students from all over the world, concentrating in every subject. With spacious and clean common rooms, Leverett is a popular center for every type of extracurricular, from cultural associations to political groups. Regardless, Mize elaborated that the centralized area “still feels like a community, without one single group dominating that space.”

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Leverett’s architecture naturally lends itself to bonding, with common rooms on every floor of McKinlock and a Light Court where students pset past midnight. Even though Leverett housing is spread across three separate buildings, it’s easy to find friends in the Game Room at F-Hutch, or in the party room at G-Hutch. Invite everyone you know to hop on over to Lev!

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{shortcode-b38a76568e08be041fe6c3e5b9ec39e162987c50}

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Your Questions, Answered

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We talked to members of Leverett House to answer your most frequently asked questions.

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What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your house?

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BPW: It’s an awesome house! It’s filled with people who love being here and love hanging out with each other. It’s a wonderful community and microcosm at Harvard.

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MLM: Your house and Leverett can be your home on campus if you put in the dedication to make it that way and you have all the ingredients right here.

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If you had to describe your house in 3 words what would they be?

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BPW: Filled with light! Both figuratively and literally. I mean, we have a light court.

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MLM: That was really well done… That was so good. Yeah. Filled with light.

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What HUDS dish is Leverett?

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BPW: Tiramisu. Because I love this and I love this house.

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MLM: I love this house, and I love carnival cookies.

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Housing Market 2020: Dunster

('

{shortcode-a03b1da1f034abd2e713dc5bddab918d101ad940}If you love late nights at the grille, roasting goats (technically a petting zoo now!), and morning runs along the Charles (yay fitness!), then there’s no question that you would love this iconic house on the river. With just the right combination of classy and fun, you can guarantee that being in Dunster House will give you the best of both worlds.

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{shortcode-fc5524ea6032f8e0802072eb54afc6d382b3bb67}

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All about Housing

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You definitely won’t be disappointed about your housing situation in Dunster House. Recently completed renovations and large suites make for some of the most coveted housing on campus. As sophomores, most Dunster residents live in hallway doubles, quads with two doubles each, or in DeWolfe. While sophomore housing within Dunster House is certainly nice, living in DeWolfe is also an awesome experience. With all the benefits of living in Dunster House and being a part of the community, DeWolfe residents also enjoy being closer to the Yard and having their own kitchens, which come in handy when you’re getting tired of dhall food. Dunster HoCo Chair Isabella R. Becket ’21 says she lived in DeWolfe as a sophomore and loved it.

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As an upperclassman, Dunster housing only gets better. If you’re looking to party, don’t forget “The Penthouse”, arguably the most famous suite in all of Dunster House. With seven singles and a view of the beautiful Dunster courtyard, most Dunster House residents have their fingers crossed for this magnificent suite. But don’t worry — The Penthouse isn’t Dunster’s only impressive living space. Many juniors and seniors live in large suites, with up to seven or eight singles and spacious common rooms on top of it all.

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{shortcode-d1908d2facaebbb1097c44ec3beb505c426ebba1}

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Community

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After a busy day of school, it’s always good to keep in mind the best spots to chill in and around your house. Luckily, Dunster has plenty! Interspersed throughout the house, there are common study rooms for students looking to pset with their friends and have a night in.

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If you’re looking for a larger social setting, Dunster dhall is always a student favorite. From grabbing a bite and socializing to just sitting and doing homework, there’s always a handful of people hanging out in the dhall, even between meals. And why wouldn’t they? Even after renovations, the dark wood of Dunster dhall still looks like the original, providing students with the classiest dining experience Harvard has to offer. For something a little more exciting, venture over to Dunster Grille. Equipped with pool tables and foosball (and, rumor has it, a ping pong table coming soon), the Grille is a popular favorite for hanging out with friends or friends-to-be.

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Dunster House is full of house spirit. With movie-quality Housing Day videos including a “La La Land” parody, it’s clear how much Dunster residents love their home. Take intramurals, for instance. Whether their team is winning or not, you can be sure that Dunster residents bring the largest crowd. Students say that Faculty Deans Sean Kelly and Cheryl Chen — both Philosophy professors — help foster a community and bring the house together. The Dunster community is a lot smaller than that of other houses, but still really welcoming to those who don’t even live there. Plus, the dhall is open late for athletes to eat dinner, and residents really get to know each other along with those who are just stopping by!

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{shortcode-1ba062ad708a6cd84eda528c8827a5ffe8bd1330}

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Your Questions Answered

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An interview with Dunster HoCo Chair Isabella R. Beckett:

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What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your house?

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IRB: We have a really tight-knit house community, and the house is also really beautiful, of course.

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Describe your house in three words.

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IRB: Classic. That encapsulates the whole thing. It’s renovated, but still old, classic Harvard. Also caring and fun!

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What is your best memory in Duster House?

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IRB: Definitely on Housing Day. There were two blocking groups in my room and we weren’t sure whose name was on the letter, but we opened it and it was our blocking group and we burst out in celebration. Oh, and then the other group got Pfoho.

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{shortcode-f2042535ba0b78f45724dcbe774cdd084861fa35}

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What are some misconceptions about Dunster?

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IRB: I think it’s a misconception that it’s really far away. The Mather express shuttle is actually right outside Dunster and you can take it everywhere. But in my experience walking across campus, I don’t feel like it’s a long walk when I visit my friends in River Central or go to the Science Center. And we’re also really close to the stadium and the business school and the new engineering school.

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What are your tutors like?

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IRB: They’re so lovely. My tutor hosted a study break and my birthday was coming up so she got sparkling cider and chocolate strawberries and she just does really caring things like that even without asking. All the tutors reach out with house events and always want to sit with us in the dhall. I love the tutors here and there are lots of babies because so many of them have little kids. If you love babies, you’ll love Dunster house.

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

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IRB: I do love how beautiful and classic the house is, but I think sometimes it makes spaces for events a little difficult because you don’t want to go into the JCR and spill on something nice. Or you don’t want to accidentally break something that’s like 200 years old. So if I could change anything, I would probably add a couple more party spaces haha.

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If you could liken your house to any fruit, what would it be?

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IRB: Well, pineapple’s my favorite fruit and Dunster is my favorite house so I’d have to say pineapple. And we have pineapple for breakfast and I eat pineapple every day, so I just associate pineapple with Dunster.

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What superhero are your Faculty Deans most similar to?

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IRB: Are there two awesome superheroes that love each other a lot. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Incredible? They have kids too. Besides being great Faculty Deans, Sean and Cheryl also show us what a healthy family and relationship is supposed to look like.

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What Hogwarts house would Dunster house be?

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IRB: Just based on the colors, definitely Gryffindor. And Gryffindor is the best one.

', [, , , , ])

PSA: Housing Market 2020 Is Here!

('

{shortcode-cd8a2ac107eb119ad61f78aa5f39b2bc240cb7dd}Yeah, that’s right, the time you’ve all been waiting for: Housing Market 2020 is officially out! Whether you’re a freshman praying to the housing gods or an upperclassman reminiscing on River Run 2017, our annual Housing Market feature answers all your burning questions about House life on campus.

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\r\n3/5/20: In classic Housing Market fashion, we’re kicking it off with the good ol’ Quad. Check out what our writers discovered about Cabot, Currier, and Pforzheimer. Scared of being quadded? Think again.

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3/6/20: With less than a week until Housing Day 2020, we're taking you to River East, the home of Dunster, Leverett, and Mather. Thanks to our writers, you'll know everything there is to know about these three amazing houses.

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3/9/20: The clock is ticking — Housing Day 2020 is just three days away... With that we bring you River West, where you can find Eliot, Kirkland, and Winthrop.

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3/10/20: So... Housing Day 2020 may have been postponed for now. But that's okay. While we're waiting for its new date, rest assured that you have all the information you could ever need! Finally, we present the Houses in the Square: Adams, Lowell, and Quincy.

', [])

Housing Market 2020: Pforzheimer

('

{shortcode-300ecaa017f760869353a66d905a0498e29151df}Ever wonder why you never see people who live in the Quad? It’s probably because they’re reveling in the pfhenomenal House that is Pforzheimer. With singles basically starting your sopfhomore year and amenities including the Spfa, the Quad Grille, and a room reserved solely for guinea pigs, Pfoho is Harvard’s best-kept secret that we’ll let you in on. There really is no place like Pfohome.

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{shortcode-c81b0ae9e7b90fafd382c4cfcf14fe333fec5c54}

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All About Housing

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The silver lining of living in the Quad is more of a gold standard when it comes to housing — as Analli C. Torres ’21 says, “There’s no such thing as a bad room in Pfoho.” Sophomores are likely to receive n or n+1 housing, a benefit that can be hard to find in other houses. These luxurious singles — many of which are just as big as singles reserved for upperclassmen in houses on the river — are highly attainable, making the transition from the Yard to the Quad a breeze.

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In addition to the perks of singles, the different layouts of suites are endless. Configurations vary from apartment-style suites of hallways with singles, to duplexes, which are two-floor suites that provide much more vertical space. Pfoho’s various buildings, which include the Jordans and Moors Hall, each offer different options for your next three years.

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Pfoho also boasts the infamous Belltower Suite, which has four singles in addition to a common room. This suite is known for its pfabulous parties, but more importantly, for its history — it’s where Mark Zuckerberg met his wife at a party. If he can find love, there’s hope for us all, and the secret may lie in Pfoho Belltower. We’re already filling out the application to transfer to the Quad.

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Community

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Walking into Pfoho feels like walking home. Filled with the warmth of the friendly building manager and the peace of the dining hall, Pfoho’s community is one of the strongest. As Malia Marks ’21 says, “Any time I want to see people, all I have to do is leave my room.” Perennially occupied by people studying, watching sports in the JCR, or playing with Pfoho’s guinea pigs, there’s never a lonely moment.

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The two levels of Pfoho’s dining hall attract people to a central area in the House. The main floor has larger tables that give you your social fix, while the top floor is basked in sun during the day and filled with small tables for people to study and have more intimate conversations. During dinner, the dining hall comes alive as people entertain the House on the grand piano with songs from Ed Sheeran’s new album to breathtaking classical music.

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Regular outings such as dog sledding, snow tubing, grape picking, jam making, and pasta making characterize Pfoho’s tight-knit community, in addition to trivia nights and Pfaculty Dean high tea. A crowd favorite event, Pfortuna, is a weekly gathering on Thursday nights in the JCR that includes music and a rotating menu of snacks to get ready for the weekend. If you’re ever feeling tired of dhall food, test your cooking skills with Cooking With Pfriends, where you can bond with new and old friends by cooking a three-course meal.

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Freshmen are immediately welcomed into the Pfoho community with Quadded, a day-long retreat (including an ice bar!) to make you feel at home. Pfoho greets incoming sopfhomores with its Bear Buds program, which pairs an upperclassman with a pfrosh so that, before you even move in, you’ll already have a familiar face in the House and a resource for any questions or worries you may have about living in Pfoho (although, what kind of concerns would there be living in such a great House?). Torres says, “It’s the best House, objectively,” and we can’t argue with that.

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Your Questions, Answered

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What is one thing you want freshmen to know about Pfoho?

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MM: A single sentence: It’s not that pfar.

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What can I expect on Housing Day?

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MM: We get up earlier than 6 a.m., there’s just screaming in the dining hall, and we walk all the way to the Yard. People are fighting to wear one of the 10 polar bear suits. You have to apply to wear the suit, and there’s a leader of the polar bear army — it’s an official position.

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What’s your best memory of Pfoho?

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AT: I don’t have a specific moment that is super memorable, but the thing I cherish the most is every single night — the ability to just sit for hours and talk to people.

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What Hogwarts House would Pfoho get sorted into?

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MM: We’re so Hufflepuff. The warm hug of community is Hufflepuff-y.

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Around the House

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Pfoho is full of character, so we interviewed Pfoho student Max J. Wang ’20, a local celebrity in the House.

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What do you like most about Pfoho?

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MW: I would say it’s definitely the people. They’re really tight with each other, and everyone’s always got each others’ backs.

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Why should first-years be excited about the prospect of being sorted into Pfoho?

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MW: Pfoho’s nice, first of all. We have great dorm rooms, people are awesome — not just the students, but also the tutors.

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If you could describe Pfoho in 5 words, what would they be?

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MW: Roll tide.

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Housing Market 2020: Currier

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{shortcode-51945da0cdfce4ed84b3d2cfbb7ef24960f13ab1}With a vibrant community, a variety of social and study spaces, and the offer of a refuge away from the prying tourists of Harvard Square, it’s an understatement to say Currier will not let you down. The smallest House on campus has a reputation which outdoes its size, known for its diverse community and as the returning champions from winning the Green Cup. Being sorted into Currier House this Housing Day would definitely be more of a blessing than a curse.

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All About Housing

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Most sophomores assigned to Currier House get assigned either in-suite or hallway singles in Daniels Tower, with a few getting doubles. Further, some sophomores do end up in other towers and actually receive junior housing. House Committee co-chair Vivien Thommes ’20 said that “I want to stay in my junior house and because I think I cannot buy enough furniture to stock up a senior room.” The four towers — named Gilbert, Bingham, Daniels, and Tuchman after four Radcliffe College alumna — are all connected through their basements. The House also boasts about 56 kitchens — every single floor and common room has a kitchen. Community baking is very much a tradition — many students have their own baking pans, and even if you miss Autumn Apple Picking, Currierites love to share baked goods and host baking study breaks.

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Community

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The locus of Currier House is the dining hall because “At any time to go in and out of the building, people have to walk through the dhall, have to see each other,” explains HoCo co-chair Jorge Campos ’21. Currier dhall is the most distinct from the dhalls of other Houses, due to the fountain display in the middle (with a skylight to brighten the area) as well as the obvious camaraderie on display. Sunday nights in particular are special; above and beyond the usual Brain Break fare chicken wings, nachos, or other delicacies are rolled out around 10 p.m. “There are just trays of food and people are just hanging out in the dining hall doing work super late,” said Campos. The dhall also stays open between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., as well as post-7:15 p.m. “Our opinion on it is, you know, it is a little bit harder to get up here, and the class blocks don't really line up with the official HUDS time schedule,” says Robert A. James, who has worked at HUDS for 16 years and at Currier for the past two years, noting that it’s not an official policy.

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Currier House has many recreational and workspaces for students. On entering, one passes the bells desk, a desk that students can sign up for shifts for two hours per week. ”All you have to do is to sit here and log packages as they come in,” said Olivia H. Nie ’20. “I also do like I get to see a lot of my, my friends that I might not run into all the time.” Down a staircase from the lobby, one enters the Fishbowl, which has glass walls, many sofas, and a large projector for movie screenings. Tucked underneath the two staircases is the Mousehole, whose walls can close to create a mall private space, equipped with a very pricey speaker system and Alexa, where people often hold impromptu dancing or singing sessions. The Poker Room is a popular study space equipped with whiteboards and desks, and Currier House’s ten-man suite offers party rooms like no other. Currier Gym, three music practice rooms, a dance studio, reading rooms, a meditation room, a massage room (and chair), and a Makerspace replete with 3D printer and art supplies mean that it’s possible to hole up in Currier the whole weekend, whether your intent is to belt out a paper or relax with friends. “I think the most important thing is that it's not just a space where you live; it's like when you are home,” said Thommes.

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More About Currier

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Beyond being the only House on campus being named after a woman, Audrey Bruce Currier ’56, Currier was also the first House to push for race relations tutors and first-gen tutors. One tutor is even working on an augmented reality app to describe the history of the House room by room. While the Quad at large and Currier specifically are often celebrated for their community, in Currier, this includes more than just tutors and staff. “For me, I see the same 150-175 people day after day. You know, it's less time to get to know people,” said James. “I love the fact that they can get away from the stress level when they come to the Quad.” Currier also brags of a variety of House group chats, including for board games, video games, and the popular Currier memes chat. Anyone can submit to the digital picture frames on the walls, whether about a specific happening or even something from daily life.

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While Currier is a 13-minute walk from Harvard Yard, Thommes and Campos frequently loop back to the Quad for meals, and Thommes vouches for the reliability of the shuttles, making the Yard and River “super accessible.” The distance has certainly not stopped Currier from outperforming other houses in IMs; they are currently 3rd place in the Straus Cup rankings, an impressive feat for the smallest House. Campos fondly remembers a soccer match from last semester where they hired Uber Blacks for the trip down to the soccer field. “It was really one of my favorite times here because we like de-seeded Quincy House and they were sitting on number one and we beat ‘em, and our Deans came out to the soccer game. We had 40 people out in the sidelines screaming, cheering us on,” he recalls with a grin.

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Thommes and Campos say that attitudes towards getting housed in the Quad have been changing the past few years. During Housing Day 2019, Currier-Wire (the house-wide email list) was flooded with pictures and videos of freshman crying tears of joy. The HoCo chairs have one last piece of advice for freshman this Housing Day — give the Quad a chance. “I'm just sold on this House being the greatest thing that happened to me at Harvard,” Campos said.

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Housing Market 2020: Cabot

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{shortcode-b26a633f1516bbecd77f6b89c8d7c0c50388571b} From spacious singles to designated party spaces (i.e. the Aquarium) to Cabot Cafe, Cabotians love the physical spaces in their House. But any Cabotian will tell you the House’s real selling point is their tight knit community and inviting atmosphere that never fails to make you feel at home.

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All About Housing

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If you’ve got your eye on a single, Cabot has your back. Former House Committee co-chairs Ashish Dahal ‘20 and Ian V. M. Saum ‘20 said all sophomores who want a single can get one. Many sophomores opt for a hallway single, but others go for a suite. Don’t worry though, because in Cabot you won’t have to choose between having a common room or being in a single — all suites in Cabot are n or n+1 housing.

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Cabot’s buildings surround three sides of the Quad Lawn, giving many of the rooms a gorgeous view of the green (and the cute dogs that it is often full of!). Most buildings are connected by tunnels, so you can still stop by brain break during late night study sessions without ever having to step outside.

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If the spacious singles weren’t enough, Cabot also has a myriad of common spaces. You can always find fellow Cabotians hanging out in the popular Cabot Cafe, open late on weeknights, as well as in the pottery studio, game room, an art studio, and many study spaces throughout the House. If you’re into fitness, Cabot’s gym is arguably one the best of any House on campus, with Dahal going so far as to say “It’s better than the MAC, I stand by it.” Of course, Cabot is well known for its Aquarium, a designated party room. Besides the Aquarium, Cabot houses the historic Library Suite. A former library, the spacious common room of this suite is lined with bookshelves connected to five singles.

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Community

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“Cabot is actually one of the best-kept secrets at Harvard — it actually has a really wonderful community and you get to know most people in the House. I think most people who are in Cabot legitimately really enjoy the House community,” Bobae C. Johnson ’21 says. From house-themed musicals to a dedicated meme page (“Cabot Memes for Fishy Teens”) and more, Cabot really creates a “microcosm of the greater Harvard community,” Dahal says.

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Cabot hosts the annual Festivus, a winter holiday party featuring catered food from many different cultures and a fire for the symbolic burning of Grievances (a Seinfeld inspired event, according to Dahal) — a great way to purge all your negative energy from the semester. A highlight of Festivus is the talent show, where students can uniquely showcase their skills. Every year, one student typically sings a parody of a popular holiday song (Cabot-themed of course!). Last year, Saum and his blockmates recreated the iconic Mean Girls dance.

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Cabot maintains its tight knit community with regular Steins, coffeehouses, and even a monthly “Formal Hall” event. Every month, the HoCo chairs put out a spread of hors d'oeuvres and drinks for students to enjoy, each with a different theme ranging from Jeopardy to Saum’s personal favorite: murder mystery. Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up fancy with all your friends? Steins are also a well-loved event, with each one having a different fun activity. “What we like about our steins is that we always try to have a fun, inclusive event,” Dahal says. “We just want the steins here in this House to always be very popping.” The most popular is Karaoke Stein, but trivia night Stein and video game Stein (nicknamed “Super Stein Bros”) are also big hits.

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Perhaps Cabotians’ favorite aspect of the community is how supportive it is of new initiatives. “Cabot is incredibly supportive of any sort of activity you might want to get kick-started,” Johnson says. “Cabot Cafe was just a student idea that was tossed around that is now still in business 6 years later; Queer Cabot was created only a couple years ago and is now one of the bigger communities in Cabot!” For example, Saum and his friends recently started a Wine Society in Cabot. Another example is CabLift, a new fitness group for Cabot students.

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Your Questions, Answered

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What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your House?

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AD: It’s not that far. I can get from Lowell to Cabot in a four-minute bike ride flat. The distance is not that big of a deal. And honestly, the best part of being in the Quad is you get to explore Porter Square and a lot of the other restaurants that are on this side of Cambridge.

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IVMS: Community is great, walk’s not that far, we’re all so happy to have you in Cabot.

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What should freshmen who get your House look forward to?

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AD: There are several traditions in Cabot that are so much fun. We have a big holiday party, called Festivus, inspired by Seinfeld. People from all the other Houses always want to come, but they can’t because it’s Cabot only. They should really look forward to integrating into a community that really fulfills their needs. For a lot of people, they may want to get more involved in the arts. We have an art studio and a community group called Third Space here in Cabot. If you’re into wellness, we have a Wellness committee, or if you’re interested in theater, you can join Theater Board.

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IVMS: The community. All my best friends live in Cabot, I’ve made my best friends in this house. The people, the vibe, we all love Cabot here, and we think everyone who gets Cabot will too!

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If you had to describe your House in 3 words what would they be?

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AD: Quirky, wholesome, and fun.

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IVMS: It’s the best.

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Talk about your Housemasters/tutors. Are you close with them?

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AD: We have some of the best tutors, by far, of any House, I’m going to stand by that. The tutors are not just the proctors you have in the freshman dorms, they’re genuinely like a fun older sibling you can look up to and go to for mentorship advice. The network of tutors really helps to make Cabot a true home.

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If you had to liken your House to a fruit, what fruit would it be and why?

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AD: Mango, because it’s sweet. Cabot is incredible, great suites, great people, good housing, good community, there’s really nothing you can’t like about Cabot.

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IVMS: Grapes, because find me someone who doesn’t like grapes.

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Open Letter to Freshmen: How to Prepare for Housing Day

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{shortcode-1d64f7ef2507a0f7b7eea82b8dd975cbe22403c9}Dear Freshman,

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Housing Day is one of the best days of the school year, period. It’s one of the handful of times Harvard upperclassmen pull their school spirit out of the recesses of their deep dark souls, all to welcome all you into your new home. It’s a day of celebration and the resolution of blocking drama, as well as a great send-off for Spring Break. But how does Housing Day work? What should you do to get ready?

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Having a game plan for Housing Day is key. This includes deciding things a few days in advance. Do you have a midterm on that day? If so, maybe River Run isn’t for you. Do you have a paper due? Try to finish it a day in advance so you can just enjoy the festivities. Don’t stay up all night after doing River Run (or just in general), because you’ll need to be well-rested for the full day ahead. Your blocking group should be waiting in a predetermined suite (preferably in the Yard, where all the action happens), so it’s important that you SET! MANY! ALARMS! and wake up early enough to get ready, look cute, and make your way to whomstever’s room you’re going to be waiting in for dorm storming. Another solution to this issue is having a sleepover the night before! But don’t sleep on a hard floor the whole night—it’s not worth it. If there isn’t a couch to crash on, just sleep in your own bed and waltz over well-rested in the early morning.

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We highly recommend doing something cute as a blocking group for breakfast in the suite, whether it’s buying bagels the night before and doing a bagel and fruit breakfast, or making pancakes on a hot plate that you definitely don’t have in your dorm because those aren’t allowed.

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Don’t be too concerned about documenting the experience, although it can be fun to set up a phone camera somewhere that can see the room to have a recording of upperclassmen bursting through your door to look back on in the years to come.

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IMPORTANT: Make a promise with your linking group that neither of you will tell the other what house you got before both of you have been dorm stormed. Knowing what neighborhood you’ll be in majorly ruins the surprise.

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The most important thing to know about Housing Day is that ultimately, all of the houses are great. We’re sure you’ve made your House ranking lists, but every House can be a home for you if you give it a chance. Lean into the spirit of the day, and the love and excitement that the upperclassmen are screaming at you! (Read: Don’t be rude and cry if a House that you didn’t want dorm-storms you. These students are genuinely thrilled to be welcoming you into the place they call home! Feed off their energy! Stay open-minded!) Go to all of the events: tabling in the Berg, House dinner, and whatever fun post-dinner activity your new House has planned for you. Don’t let your potential disappointment keep you from engaging to the fullest—we promise you won’t regret it.

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Housing Day is exciting for everyone, freshmen and upperclassmen alike. We hope you have the Best day: that you’re safe, that the Housing Gods smile down upon you, and that, whatever happens, you welcome your new House with open arms, just like it does for you.

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Flove,

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Your Trusty Upperclassmen

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