Eliot House has been described — by its own HoCo co-chairs Ebony M. Smith ’24 and Caroline Bukowski ’24 — as “classy, loving, and homey,” achieving these monikers by fostering a tight-knit community in several ways.
Smith recounts that on her “first day moving in, [she] ran into someone who lived on the fifth floor and he just immediately helped [her] carry [her] things upstairs.” So, if you want to experience a fun meet-cute on your first day of school, Eliot could be the place for you! Meet-cutes aside, since each entryway consists of a wide range of students, there are many opportunities to meet new people from different years.
Eliot’s supportive community shines in their avid intramural participation. The HoCo chairs note that Eliot excels in rowing and volleyball, but even when they do not come out on top, the entire House receives a funny and extensive email play-by-play of the game. Eliot residents are full of house spirit and pride, and many often turn out to watch intramurals as well.
Like its reputation, its events are ornate and festive. Eliot’s most popular event is its spring formal, Fête. Bukowski enjoys Fête as it “gives me the type of vibes I love from the house — old-timey, but just so fun, exciting, and community-based.” During Fête, Eliot boasts a swing band in the courtyard, chocolate strawberries in the dessert room, and a DJ in the dhall (which is a great band name and someone should totally get on that). The house even hosts 1920s-style swing dance lessons in anticipation for the event. Fête’s famed exclusivity is just another opportunity for Eliot residents to make bank: some Eliot residents make a business out of selling plus ones for an unspecified high amount. So, if you want to attend a fun, old-timey event with a friend or attend a fun, old-timey event and make bank, Eliot is the place to be. When asked if other houses have fun spring formals, Bukowski stated, “They do. Ours is just the best.”
Eliot also has smaller events like steins — Thursday night community events with a constant turnout of at least 50 to 100 people. During steins, attendees enjoy pizza, snacks, and drinks and participate in fun activities. They almost always get crashed by students in other houses because Eliot is just simply the place to be. Every month, Eliot also offers enhanced dinners, complete with smoked salmon, pumpkin ravioli, and blueberry sauce. “Basically… they pop off,” says Bukowski.
Eliot tutors are accessible and fun and often hold exciting gatherings to help build the house community, including a piñata smashing session to release stress from those 20-page papers and grab-and-go dining. And, of course, Eliot has no shortage of furry friends. The house has four resident dogs — Izzy, Moose, Oggie, and Vera — that students can play with during Sunday Yappy Hours. The house also has a cat, Ringo, but he is unfortunately often “under the radar.”
Eliot rooms have large common spaces, tons of walk-in closets, and built-in wall lights (“material girl” to a tee). The dorms are beautiful, and the house is always open to accessibility requests.
The only commonly known drawback is that Eliot is on the older side. However, Smith thinks “the argument is kinda weak because we have such beautiful architecture. I love the wood here. I think the fact that we are so old gives us the aesthetic that everybody likes… everything’s not yellow or white like in Winthrop or Lowell.” *shots fired* Although there can be lots of stairs, you’ll have incredible calves by the end of the year.
Eliot’s amenities include the Inferno (a social grille space), a photography room, a record room, a woodshop, and the Golden Arm movie theater. Don’t want to go outside? The tunnels connecting all the entryways make for a short and convenient trek to the dining hall. Beyond saving you from the cold, the tunnels have beautiful artwork: “Everytime I walk down there, I see something new. Yesterday, I realized Albert Einstein was on the wall. I was like, ‘I haven’t seen you this whole time!?’” remarked Smith.
The HoCo chairs were also especially excited about “Espresso Dave.” For 20 years, “Espresso Dave” has come to Eliot before finals to provide students with a free Starbucks-eque menu. While the actual barista (and therefore the barista’s name) has changed, Eliot residents still call them “Espresso Dave” and that’s that.
What Hogwarts house would Eliot be sorted into?
ES: Well, I think it’s between Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. I feel like it’s the creative part. Everybody’s either playing a piano and we have this amazing record room. Isn’t that Hufflepuff, like creativity?
CB: Singers, dancers. People play piano in the library, and you feel like you’re transformed into the 1800s.
ES: Well wait, let me look up Hufflepuff… Justice, loyalty, patience, and a propensity for hard work.
CB: I think that’s us. We put in the work, but we also love everyone.
What side of TikTok would your house be on?
ES: I feel like we would be the “material girl.” I think it fits so well.
CB: Our last enhanced dinner, we had plates that had Eliot insignias on them. We had Eliot House napkins and glasses. We were waited on and everything.
ES: We had a holiday dinner. We had wreaths and cute tablecloths. It was very pretty. I love this dining hall. I think I actually made a TikTok at the enhanced dinner to the “material girl” sound. Like I was sitting there all “material girl” with my apple cider.
What can freshmen look forward to after they are sorted into Eliot House?
CB: We have a ton of stuff planned for incoming freshmen. Once they get in, they’re part of the Eliot community. Immediately, they are added to our email list, they know what’s going on, they’re always invited, they’re invited to Fête. Once you get in, you’re part of a whole new community, and you get to be embraced by love.
ES: If you’re a freshman and you get this house on Housing Day, just know that everybody wants you here, and you’re going to have a place here… People are just so nice and welcoming.
Read more about the other Houses here!