Ever seen the gate when you log into Harvard Key? That’s Winthrop’s very own, and it welcomes you into both Canvas and into one of the best communities on campus. Be prepared to be wowed by incredible spaces, traditions, and even more incredible people for those lucky enough to call Throp home.
Winthrop is built on its community, composed of an incredible group of resident tutors, HUDS staff, security, building managers, deans, proctors, and students. Fariba Mahmud ’22, Winthrop’s HoCo co-chair, says the thing she is most excited for incoming freshmen to experience is “how welcoming not only the students are, but all of the staff is.” From tutors that are “always checking in on you” to the building staff and security officers “trying to get to know you” and their friendly HUDS staff — as Mahmud emphasizes, “That’s what really makes Winthrop House not just a House, but a home.”
Even when it seems it can’t get any better, this lovely community lives in one of the nicest and newest Houses on campus, and is home to its very own grille and art studio! There are four main common areas: the Grille, Dhall, Junior Common Room, and Lion’s Den, each with their own unique vibe. The Dhall is always bustling with students and perfect for socializing, studying, or just hanging out. The JCR hosts many House-led events, such as the annual and much-anticipated Winthrop’s Got Talent, while the Lion’s Den is perfect for Sunday Night Football. Best of all, according to HoCo co-chair Karina Ascunce Gonzalez ’22, “the Grille is the spot to be on a Friday night!” Mahmud adds that “the Winthrop Grille probably has the best food out of any House grille. We have mozz sticks, mac and cheese bites, boba — probably the widest variety of any House too!” In addition to these spaces, Gonzalez described the Beren Rooftop Common Room — made of glass and overlooking the river — as “ethereal” and her favorite place in the House.
Beyond the gorgeous interior and amenities, Winthrop has a prime location facing the river and three stunning courtyards. While Standish Courtyard is known for its darties, Gore is known for its iconic tire swing and seemingly attracts every club on campus for official club pictures. Prepare to see lots of business casual attire posing outside and in the hallways for some professional photoshoots as you walk to your room.
Even in these unprecedented times, Winthrop House has fostered a loving and welcoming community, keeping everyone together despite location and time zone. Traditions like Lion Buddies, Weekly Winthropian, community dinners, and Secret Snowflake have traversed into the world of Zoom. For Lion Buddies, blocking groups are matched with an upperclassmen group to help integrate and welcome them into the House, with a big virtual reveal of their Buddies and a dinner to celebrate! Weekly Winthropian, typically a newsletter printed and distributed in the Dhall, has moved to Instagram, where Winthropians can still nominate someone in the House to be featured each week. And monthly community dinners are held over Zoom with the lure of a reimbursed meal and some lovely company. Despite the challenges and distance of this year, Winthrop seems to have been growing as close as ever!
In Winthrop, sophomores get their choice of luxurious singles and suites. Around half of sophomores will end up in a single, but it typically is up to your own personal preference. Sophomores are spread around the House, getting a chance to live near tons of different Winthropians in one of three gorgeous halls: Standish, Gore, and Beren. All of these perks are in addition to the fact that the House is newly renovated, spacious, and right by the river — what more could you ask for?
As far as (post-Covid) parties go, the eight-man in Standish is probably the most infamous; however, events are held all around the House in the numerous different common spaces — no matter what, there is always something going on and things to do on the weekends. Between late night mozz sticks at the Grille, studying in Beren, hanging out in the Lion’s Den, and even swinging on the tire swing, you’ll never want to leave! And I mean... who would?
Still have some lingering questions about life in Throp? We sat down with Gonzalez and Mahmud who shared all the reasons to love Winthrop and more.
If Winthrop was a HUDS dish, what would it be?
KAG: A bistro bowl! Every Thursday, HUDS has a special bistro bowl, which is a nicer, fancier alternative to the food they usually have… So just a bistro bowl because Winthrop is bougie.
If Winthrop was a Taylor Swift album or song, what would it be?
FM: I’m thinking Love Story and You Belong with Me.
KAG: Fearless! She’s got that lion’s mane hair going on at that time in her life, I love it, it’s very fitting.
What is your favorite memory of Winthrop?
KAG: My roommates and I — sophomore year, so last year — we went and filmed a music video [to] “What About Love” by Austin Mahone in different parts of Winthrop, and it was just such a sweet memory. Very indicative of my general experience of Winthrop — it’s been very social, very warm, very welcoming, despite any sort of bumps in the road. It’s been very, very much an incredible and very enjoyable experience.
FM: I think it was on Housing Day when we all found out we were all in Winthrop — we’d come to some of the Winthrop programming that they had that day… and we were just kinda on this ecstatic high, like we have so much to look forward to in these next three years. And that night, after we all were just chatting, we decided to go up into one of the rooms in Throp and we all just toasted together and were really so excited to be in the House. We all took a picture together and I still have that, it’s on my desk right now.
So what about love? All signs point to Winthrop.
Read our overviews of the other Houses here!
CORRECTION: March 10, 2021
A previous version of this article misstated the name of Karina Ascunce Gonzalez '22.