Housing Market 2020: Dunster

By Aridenne A. Dews

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.

All about Housing

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.

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.


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.

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.

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!

Your Questions Answered

An interview with Dunster HoCo Chair Isabella R. Beckett:

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

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

Describe your house in three words.

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

What is your best memory in Duster House?

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.

What are some misconceptions about Dunster?

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.

What are your tutors like?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

What superhero are your Faculty Deans most similar to?

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.

What Hogwarts house would Dunster house be?

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

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