In the weeks leading up to Housing Day, no freshman has ever said “Gee, I really hope I get Winthrop.” It’s the ugly step-child, the odd one out, the bottom of the housing barrel. Everyone says they hate Winthrop because their doubles are anything but spacious. But this isn’t the only upperclassman house that will make you claustrophobic (lookin’ at you, Stone Hall). Unfortunately, Winthrop’s house events, amazing location, and great IM record often get forgotten, and it’s worthy of deserved merit.
UPDATED: March 9, 2015 at 11:08 p.m.
355 Residents (+ 56 in De Wolfe)
1 Computer Lab
1 Art Studio
$17,000 Fall 2014 HoCo Budget
This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification:
CLARIFICATION: March 9, 2015
An earlier version of this article stated that the 2014 budget for Winthrop House Committee was $17,000. To clarify, that figure reflects the fall 2014 budget.
Initially built to house freshmen, Winthrop currently consists of two buildings: Gore and Standish Halls. Each surrounding their own courtyard, these buildings are connected by a third lawn (there are no underground tunnels, which means many must to venture outside to get to the dining hall). Standish houses Winthrop Library, while Gore plays host to the dining hall and outside deck with a view of the Charles. Its close proximity to the JFK Bridge and open gates also make it ideal for athletes.
Winthrop housing is its Achilles Heel. Almost all sophomores are placed into n-1 quads, which boast huge common rooms but small doubles. Juniors and seniors get some more options however. Some rising seniors are lucky enough to receive n+1 suites, while juniors are lucky if they get n housing. Juniors and seniors also have an opportunity to “crowd.” Senior crowds get to be among the first to pick once the lottery starts, but are limited to n suites. Junior crowds also get to pick first amongst their class, but are forced to pick n-1 suites. DeWolfe is also an option for members of Winthrop House, understandably a popular one. Of course, all of this will change following the Winthrop house renewal in two years.
Although Winthrop suites might not be the coziest, the common spaces present throughout the house definitely are. The Tonkins Room in Standish and the JCR in Gore come equipped with antique furniture and grand pianos. The Owen Room in Gore Hall, as well as the Feer Room in Standish are also perfect for studying or having club meetings. Unique to Winthrop is Waka Commons, in the basement of E-entryway. Here you can find Ping-Pong and pool tables, a full kitchen, and cable TV. It’s the ideal place for a study break or a night in with friends.
The Winthrop House Masters, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson, along with their two sons, have called Winthrop home since 2009. Harvard’s first African American House Masters, both Sullivan and Robinson graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994, and currently teach and lecture there. Open House at the Master’s Residence is a perfect opportunity to get to know them (and escape the d-hall menu for a night).
Winthrop’s HoCo may not have a budget as big as Eliot House, but it still makes sure to plan a variety of fun events for residents of the house. Their weekly Stein Clubs offer food, drinks, and other fun activities. Winthrop also hosts Thropstock, an outdoor carnival, every year.
Until house renewal is complete, Winthrop will continue to be burdened by its less than ideal living conditions. With cramped doubles and thin walls, living in Winthrop next year might not seem ideal. But its close proximity to the Yard and the River, along with an amazing HoCo and enthusiastic IM teams will still make you feel right at home.