Housing Market 2021: Dudley Community
It’s not an entryway, not a House, but a community! The Dudley Community! Dudley includes the Mass Ave. and Sacramento St. Co-operatives and some students living off-campus or outside the Harvard House system. They’re practically self-run and call all of Cambridge and Boston their “home.” If you’re looking for that truly #independent experience but want to gain an amazing community at the same time, Dudley is the place for you!
Dudley is a *community* consisting of both students who live off-campus and students who live in the Dudley Co-op — their on-campus, student-run, Harvard-overseen house. Any interested students can transfer from their Harvard House to Dudley starting their sophomore year. Those interested in the Co-op apply to join a waitlist for one of the roughly 30 spots. Once accepted, students are quickly integrated into the community through Dudley-only traditions and events, including everything from cooking together nightly to a ~special~ annual study break!
Despite its widespread geography, Dudley’s community tends to revolve around the Sacramento Street Co-op, a large house that houses about 15 students. There you can expect to celebrate Valentine’s on Halloween and get married to one another (jkjk… unless) on Easter! When it comes to traditions, Dudley likes to be... unconventional. While other students celebrate Primal Scream, Dudley stays a little less primal with the Lingerie Study Break, where they go to Lamont Library in their underwear. The community warmth extends from formal get-togethers to casual inside jokes about Kenny G, their “unofficial official mascot”. Their embrace of the unexpected is what makes Dudley an always evolving and exciting community — as David J. Sabot ’22, Dudley HoCo Chair, put it, “Generally not keeping traditions has always been a tradition.”
Speaking of HoCo, while Harvard Houses have typical HoCo roles like Secretary and Social Chair, Dudley keeps it spicy. Within their housing committee, each member is given a unique title, ranging from Steward of Life and Secretary of Agriculture, to Star, for the member who is in charge of getting snacks from Star Market. Clearly, if you’re looking for a niche, you’ll find it in Dudley! But arguably the best part of Dudley is its people, who all chose to be a part of the community and clearly have a lot of love for it.
No matter who you are, you can find the right level of community at Dudley. Do you want to see other members every day and have dinner together? Join the Co-op! Are you fiercely independent, but still want to occasionally stop by for community events? Live off-campus! Dudley is a choose-your-own-adventure book!
Even with Harvard online, Dudley’s community is active and engaged, and consistently meets over Zoom, organizes within the Cambridge community, and (safely) drives together to check out farm shares. On the virtual Dudley community, HoCo Treasurer Lauren G. Fadiman ’21 said, “We’re having shared experiences, and Dudley is a lot of people doing their own thing in a cool way.”
Once students return to campus in the fall, Dean Laura Chivers’ office is often the place to find and connect with the Dudley community. According to Secretary of Agriculture Elliot J. Schiff ’21, the Dudley community stays connected when "running into each other in Dean Laura’s office, the last day you can get classes approved for pass/fail. I ran into no fewer than three friends that day.”
And for those of you that missed it, check out Dudley’s Housing Day 2021 video, a true testament to their virtual community! Only a month late, here’s Flyby’s take on the piece of art:
Kenny G <3 (This is your clickbait sign to stop everything and go watch this masterpiece to join the enlightened few who understand the immaculate Kenny G reference). We’ll leave the review at that and let you bask in the glory of Dudley for yourself (and strongly consider transferring like every writer on Flyby). Seriously, go watch. Like, now.
There are a variety of ways to approach housing as a Dudley member. You can live and eat off-campus, you can live and eat in the Co-op, or you can live off-campus and occasionally stop in for a meal. Off-campus (non-Co-op) housing can take a multitude of forms, and students usually rent out their own place.
The Co-op’s accommodations are a little more structured. There are not one, but two Co-op’s: Sacramento Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Sacramento St. used to be a bed and breakfast, so it hosts an industrial kitchen and a number of common room social spaces, whereas Massachusetts Ave. is purely residential. Each Co-op site houses about 15 people at a time, and they’re both about as far from the Yard as the Quad.
Central to the Co-op’s semi-independent living is shared responsibilities to maintain your space and feed each other. Now, cooking and cleaning for yourself may sound like a step up from the convenience of dining hall conveyor belts, but overall they really work to build community within the Co-op’s and Dudley overall! The Co-op’s chore system ensures accountability, where each member completes their chores for points, a certain number of which must be earned every two weeks. Those who live off campus can complete the chores to have dinner in the Co-op.
Speaking of food, because Dudley cooks its own meals, it’s especially great if you’re vegan or not the biggest fan of HUDS food. Fadiman, Sabot, and Schiff’s favorite Dudley meals include “zhuzhed up” leftovers — i.e. ~elevated~ leftovers and vegan pizza. And at the heart of the food they make is an effort to be sustainable.
Want to know even more about everyone’s favorite housing ~community~? Fadiman, Sabot, and Schiff have you covered!
If Dudley was an ice cream flavor, what flavor would it be?
DJS: I feel like it would be frozen yogurt of some kind, not ice cream.
Stay quirky, y’all. :-)
Is the misconception that Dudley is competitive housing true?
EJS: Dudley tends to have a lot of students that are off-cycle, even before the pandemic, so if there happens to be a large wave of off-cycle students that are returning then it might be harder [to get a room]. But it’s truly, if there’s a room available for you, you can go—
LGF: Right away.
EJS: Yeah, even mid-semester.
LGF: You can join as soon as you’re a sophomore.
What are three words you would use to describe Dudley?
LGF: The. Dudley. Community. :)
Mysterious… You’ve left us intrigued.
If all this talk about Dudley has got you thinking about how to join, it’s super easy!
And if you can’t make it to a dinner or want to chat with some residential Dudley Tutors for a virtual lay-of-the-land, email Co-op Tutor Julia Harris (email@example.com) and Dudley's Undergraduate Administrator Carvina Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org). Maybe you’ll find yourself part of the tight-knit Dudley Co-op next semester!
CORRECTIONS: May 5, 2021
A previous version of this article misstated that all students living off-campus or outside the Harvard House system are members of the Dudley community. In fact, only some are.
The previous version also misstated the number of students in the Dudley community. There are roughly 30 spots, split about evenly between the Sacramento Street and Massachusetts Avenue Co-op sites.
It also misstated the name of the dean overseeing the Dudley community. It is Dean Laura Chivers.