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03.08.12 vol. xlii, no. 41 The Indy welcomes you home. Cover Design by


NEWS 3 Diversitas in Domibus SPECIAL 4 Adams|Cabot 5 Currier|Dunster 6 Eliot|Kirkland 7 Leverett|Lowell 8 M ather |P forzheimer 9 Q uincy |W inthrop ARTS 10 10

H ouse P ride H its Y ou T ube A ll the H ouse ' s A S tage

SPORTS 11 B allin '

in the


As Harvard College's weekly undergraduate newsmagazine, the Harvard Independent provides in-depth, critical coverage of issues and events of interest to the Harvard College community. The Independent has no political affiliation, instead offering diverse commentary on news, arts, sports, and student life. For publication information and general inquiries, contact Co-Presidents Whitney Lee and Gary Gerbrandt ( Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Meghan Brooks ( For email subscriptions please email The Harvard Independent is published weekly during the academic year, except during vacations, by The Harvard Independent, Inc., Student Organization Center at Hilles, Box 201, 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Copyright © 2012 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved 2

Co-President Co-President Editor-in-Chief Production Manager News and Forum Editor Associate News Editor Arts Editor Associate Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Columnists

Gary Gerbrandt '14 Whitney Lee '14 Meghan Brooks '14 Miranda Shugars '14 Christine Wolfe '14 Carlos Schmidt '15 Sayantan Deb '14 Curtis Lahaie '15 Michael Altman '14 Angela Song '14 Will Simmons '14 Sanyee Yuan '12 Celia Zhang '13

Staff Writers Clare Duncan '14 Travis Hallett '14 Yuqi Hou '15 Cindy Hsu '14 Mohammed Hussain '15 Yuying Luo '12 Zena Mengesha '14 Marina Molarsky-Beck '15 Riva Riley '12 Kalyn Saulsberry '14 Marc Shi '14 Weike Wang '11 Faith Zhang '11 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Maria Barragan-Santana '14 Travis Hallett '14 Nina Kosaric '14 Alexandria Rhodes '14

Letter from the Editor Dear Readers, Freshmen, this morning, you were housed. Whether you and the other seven of your blockmates rejoiced upon receiving an Adams letter, or you cried alone on the floor as the Cabot fish slowly backed out of your room, a welcome is in order. For the next three years, you are guaranteed a bed, at the very least, in one of the twelve undergraduate houses on Harvard’s campus. If you are lucky, you might also receive three meals a day… again, if you’re lucky. For the next three years you will eat in the same dining hall, cheer on the same intramural teams, lounge in the same JCR, and do laundry in the same basement. As you become familiar with the house, with its rooms, rhythms, and, most importantly, people, your house will take on the warm glow of a home. Whether you have already gotten into your house spirit, or you’re still sulking from being assigned to Winthrop – this day will be forever engrained in your memory. So stock up on house gear and head to your very first stein club and congratulate yourself for having made it through your freshman year. Indy Love, The Editors

03.08.12 • The Harvard Independent



Under the Same Roof By MEGHAN BROOKS


hen you receive your diploma

new house’s sun-filled courtyard three Mays from now, you will cross the stage with athletes, Republicans, Asian students, math concentrators, theatre kids, black students, writers, low-income students, budding sociologists, white kids, pre-meds, Latinos, legacies, vegetarians, and lesbians, and any combination of the above and more. You will be surrounded by a diverse group of friends and acquaintances, and this will have been intentional. Yes, your housing assignment was randomized, but this randomization represents a progression of three hundred and seventy five years of student housing systems at Harvard and an eighty-year history of policies intended to expose each student to every other “type” of student on campus. Today, each house is meant to represent a microcosm of the undergraduate population. Yet, this dedication to exploring differences did not always exist, and whether we recognize it or not, challenges to house diversity still exist today. At Harvard’s founding in 1636, all of Harvard’s students lived in the same house as the college’s president — not the most liberating of arrangements for the young men sent to mature into full adulthood. Although separate residence halls were established by the middle of the seventeenth century, treatment was poor and rules strict, corporeal punishment was frequent, and the food was so bad that by the nineteenth century, not one, but two rebellions had been stirred up over spoiled butter and rotten cabbage, respectively. Of course, as the first non-white Harvard student only graduated in 1870, and it wasn’t until 1969 that the number of black students matriculating to (still allmale) Harvard reached the triple digits, in the college’s first three hundred years of existence, diversity in housing could be measured only in terms of socio-economic diversity and “student type”. In those first three hundred years, however, no matter how you define “diversity”, Harvard failed to pursue it. Even in its early days Harvard was a bastion of privilege, which is perhaps reflected best in its earliest days of housing systems, when the College president publically ranked every student by family status. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, wealthy Harvard students lived in frigid, dark, often dank rooms in the Yard, while less wealthy or younger students, who lived in the garrets of these buildings, served them. Whether it was delivering a bowl of rotted cabbage soup or copying notes for wealthier students, if you weren’t paying full price back in the day, you could expect a strong daily dose of social humiliation. The situation improved marginally in the later part of the eighteenth century, when the serving system was abolished in your

The Harvard Independent • 03.08.12

A history of diversity in Harvard housing. and all students lived in the Yard. The quality of a student’s room still depended on what he could pay, but everyone was subject to the same cold rooms, the same bad butter, and the same ten-foot high piles of refuse smoldering behind the residential buildings. By the middle of the nineteenth century the piles of garbage were gone; however, many students had left the Yard for swankier digs along Massachusetts Avenue and Plympton Street, and elsewhere in the space between the Yard and the river. Even as the nineteenth century closed and electricity became a somewhat standard fixture in urban and semi-urban areas, the Yard still lacked plumbing and centralized heat. The pump that still stands in front of Hollis provided water for all and students had to bring their own coal for heat, storing it in the basement of Grays Hall. In terms of diversity among the student body, the transition was a relatively smooth one. Once Harvard began accepting a few black students in the 1870s, the Yard dormitories were integrated without much complaint. It was at the end of the nineteenth century, however, in the “Gold Coast” era, that the income disparities between the sons of New England’s elite and everyone else became most enviably apparent. Electricity, indoor plumbing, and even elevators were hallmarks of the private housing near and in what are now Adams and Apley. While their classmates shivered in Matthews, these wealthy students in waistcoats poured champagne from silk couches in their three-room, lavishly decorated private apartments. In their world of final clubs, expensive bourbon, Hasty Pudding balls, flashy automobiles, and society calls, these wealthy students (who were again ranked publically in social status, but by an external publication), lived a world apart. When President Lawrence Lowell took the helm of the University in 1909, he was determined to change that — at least in part — and the era of intentional student diversity in housing began. While his views on other types of diversity were appalling (he instituted Jewish quotas, his “secret court” expelled ten gay Harvard affiliates, and he revoked black students’ right to live in the Yard), Lowell had a vision for a housing system that would bring the intellectual and social advantages of a smaller college to what was rapidly becoming a large, impersonal university. Lowell envisioned a residential system akin to the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and although he did not expect instruction to relocate to Houses, he did hope to create a stimulating intellectual atmosphere and a close-knit social environment where friendships forged despite differences would contribute to Harvard men’s broader educations. The differences he imagined were socio-

economic, intellectual, and athletic (and somewhat ethnic; he wanted to spread out the Jewish population that clustered in the top floor of one Yard dormitory), but, unlike his predecessors, he had, at the very least, a plan. With a considerable monetary gift from Edward Harkness, Lowell completed the first of Harvard’s “houses”, Dunster and Lowell, in 1930. Although students and faculty grumbled, all but eighty upperclassmen applied to live in the new housing once it opened, with seniors vacating their customary positions in the Yard, leaving its occupation to the freshmen. The other five original houses (Leverett, Eliot, Kirkland, Winthrop, and Adams) were opened by 1933, and the first housing process, admittance at the House Master’s discretion via application, began. Although House Masters were encouraged to create a well-rounded House, as the application process soon proved, over the course of essays, interviews, and general schmoozing, certain houses began to develop certain characters, the most notorious of which were Eliot and Lowell’s reputations for being bastions of the white, New England prep school elite. Furthermore, the socio-economic differences and physical distinctions between students in each House caused tension as well. Although all students in the House system studied in the same libraries and courtyards and ate in the same dining halls (in full jacket and tie until the sixties, to boot), the rent system dictated that wealthy students had large, well-appointed rooms on the bottom floors while the poorest students lived in cramped quarters beneath their House’s eaves (hello sixth-floor Dunster walkups). Further perpetuating bad feelings, wealthier students often petitioned their House Master for lower-priced rooms, creating a shortage of fairly-priced rooms for less wealthy students. By the fifties, cries for House reform were many; yet, housing reform would not come until 1971. By 1971, each Harvard House had a well-defined character, a character that persisted into the nineties and that still exists in undergraduate folklore today. Eliot and Lowell were for the privileged, Winthrop and Kirkland for athletes, Dunster for the politically active and liberal, Adams for the gay and artsy, Mather and the Quad for black students, and Quincy and Leverett for everyone else. House identities shifted slightly as the years went by, but the House system as it stood did not reflect President Lowell’s vision for diverse undergraduate colleges. The integration of women from Radcliffe College into Harvard’s housing in the spring of 1970 had been a radical change that was arguably one of the most important in Harvard’s history. With this sudden, extremely visible increase in House diversity, the administration saw

further reform as not only desirable but necessary. Therefore, in 1971, the College did away with the application process, and instead had all students rank each House in order from most to least desirable, ensuring that there would be somewhat of a mix of students in each House. The student body vocally and angrily opposed this system, but it was kept in place until 1977, when students were allowed to rank only four Houses, in order of preference, ensuring that they would end up in at least one of their top choices. Still, House characters prevailed. In 1990 the College stopped allowing students to rank their four choices in one last attempt to diversify the Houses naturally while still allowing some choice in the matter. By 1995, however, the administration was seriously considering total randomization, specifically because of the large number of black students choosing to live in the Quad every year, the number of athletes in Kirkland (ninety percent of athletes across three sports were housed there in the mideighties), and other such self-segregations. In 1998, despite student protests, total randomization was finally put into place, ostensibly creating as much diversity as possible in undergraduate Houses. Today, total randomization prevails; distinct House characters are little more than myth, and a healthy smattering of athletes, brains, girls, guys, straights, gays, musicians, mathletes, and people of every ethnicity, color, sexuality, and religion, can be found in each House. Yet, questions of true diversity still remain. As blocking groups are most often constructed with members’ comfort in mind, it is not uncommon to find blocking groups composed of members of one race, one sport, one religion, one ethnicity, one concentration — the list goes on. Blocking along lines of visible commonalities is not a problem in and of itself — students, of course, should have the right to live with their friends — what affects diversity, however, is when multiple blocking groups composed of the same “types” of students end up in the same House. Although this particular complaint seems to be more rumor than anything, these questions persist. At the root of these questions, however, lies the central issue of the mission of Harvard’s House system. In the end, the most important question might not be whether or not Houses are truly diverse, but whether or not that diversity still creates a stimulating social and intellectual atmosphere that provides a specifically “Harvard” education in and of itself. Meghan Brooks ’14 (meghanbrooks@college) loves Dunster for its people. If you’re a freshmoose, she can’t wait to see you tonight!



Gold Coastin'

Originally constructed as part of the Gold Coast dorms, Adams was the most luxurious of its kind, adorned in marble and intricate wood paneling. The dorms were acquired by Harvard between 1916 and 1920. The first House Master, James Phinney Baxter, named the house after John Adams and the Adams Family. Since then, Adams has fostered a unique character. From the paintings that adorn the extensive network of tunnels to the infamous history of the pool, Adams is defined by its quirks. Under the current House Masters, Sean and Judith Palfrey, Adams has been able to strike the perfect balance between its rich history and its contemporary goals.

Of Mice And...

Adams is the House closest to the yard. Beyond the location, it is also the house with the best arts spaces. Furthermore, Adams has some of the best sophomore housing, especially in Claverly. And this only gets better with every passing year. There are, however, some drawbacks. The dining restrictions make it really hard to grab meals with friends from other houses, and yes, there are mice.


When housing was randomized in 1998, Adams veered away from just fostering an environment for the “artistic and the idiosyncratic” while still maintaining its traditions. These include the annual drag night and the black tie reading of Winnie the Pooh. Adams was also the first house to start the “Heaven and Hell” parties, and in recent years, this tradition has been reclaimed with "Purgatory". Another weekly tradition that has taken root in recent times is Carpe Noctem, the Adams version of a Stein Club. Adamsians are big on house spirit, most prominently by sporting its colors, crimson and gold, but also taking part in its many quirky yet endearing traditions.

Damn who's a sexy fish? History: All six of Cabot’s main residential halls were originally Radcliffe College dormitories. The Quadrangle housed women exclusively until 1970, when, in accordance with an administrative decision known at the time as “the great experiment,” the University allowed a select group of undergraduate gentlemen from Harvard College to take up residence there. The former Dean of Harvard College, Dean Gross, was one of these men. Architecture: Cabot is defined by modern housing, reminiscent of a condominium complex. Location: The Radcliffe Quadrangle, on all sides of the beautiful grassy expanse that defines a Quadling's spring relaxation. Amenities: Cabot Cafe is the newest (and by far the most atmospheric) addition to the Grille system. It's


a great place to get together, do work, or just snap casually as you listen to soft jazz. House Masters: Prof. Rakesh Khurana and Mrs. Stephanie Khurana Perks: Large rooms, incredibly beautiful common rooms, and classy wooden floors. Drawbacks: Distance from the square, distance from the yard, distance from all of civilization. Sophomore Housing: Singles with private bathrooms. Junior Housing: Large singles with private bathrooms. Senior Housing: Again, large singles with private bathrooms. Singles for life!

03.08.12 • The Harvard Independent


currier Mascot: Well… It’s a tree. Likely a deciduous broadleaf, but it’s Stereotypes: Tight community. Great rooms. Haughty attitude kind of ambiguous. about being in the Quad to compensate for non-River status. History: Built in 1970 by the former Radcliffe College, Currier was devoted to innovation in housing since its original blueprints. Currently, House Masters Richard Wrangham and Elizabeth Ross rule.

People: Friendly, pleasant, generally well-rounded. They know how to #OccupyDhall.

Perks: Good location for the Quad, friendly spirit, good rooms, plenty of common spaces. There’s also a retty vigorous sense Architecture: Currier’s relatively modern for Harvard. The House of house spirit! People tend to wear little clothing when they’re is designed in the shape of an E, with a few stories on each plugging for Currier on Housing Day. branch. Rooms are spaced out evenly; plain white plaster walls and carpet predominate in this SOCH-esque space. Drawbacks: In the Quad. Ugly inside. Ugly outside. Retirement home meets fortress--one way in, one way out. Location: Up in the Quad. Arguably most conveniently located for shuttle access (eat it, Mather). Parties: There’s always something to go to, especially in the large suites (the ten-man), which is great. Currier is also known for its Amenities: Currier’s dining hall tends to elicit polarized reactions annual Heaven/Hell Halloween party, which reliably fills within the (it’s either an ugly mall/nursing home or the most welcoming and first half hour, and its epic throw-downs in the Treehouse. delicious house d-hall on campus). That said, its common spaces can’t be beat, and are utilized by residents around the clock. Housing: Sophomores mostly get singles. Juniors get better singles. Seniors get really good singles, and possibly one of the great party suites on campus (again, the ten-man).


Established as one of the first two houses in President Lowell’s revolutionary housing initiative, Dunster House is the epitome of the old river style with its Cambridge red brick, bright red bell-tower, and gorgeous dark-wood dining hall replete with chandeliers and heavy solidwood tables and chairs. By the 1970s, Dunster had established a solid reputation as a magnet for students interested in politics — liberal politics, especially — and boasts such alumni as Al Gore, Norman Mailer, Tommy Lee Jones, and current Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. Home of mascot Henry Dunster Moose and wonderful House Masters Roger and Ann Porter, Dunster is a true housing gem.


“One word: community. Dunster is a house where people can sit down next to anyone in our beautiful dining hall and have a conversation. Our tutors can’t be beat, our resident dean rocks, and our House Masters really love the students; they even bring out freshly baked goods every now and then when the semester becomes really stressful! We’ve got the best house spirit, the sweetest views on campus, and the most bumpin› happy hours. Our dining hall is absolutely gorgeous, and we have a beautiful library with secret rooms!" – HoCo

The Harvard Independent • 03.08.12

Spirit and Tradition

“Petting zoos with baby rabbits, chicks and lambs? The Goat Roast (the Goat Roast began as a practical exercise in primitive survival under House tutor Daniel Lieberman; students no longer skin the goat with stone tools, but it still roasts on a spit in the courtyard), with bouncy castles, slip-and-sides and tons of sunshine? Bonfire nights with s’mores? Movie nights with homemade popcorn? How can we pick one favorite?!” – HoCo

Cozy Quarters

The Crimson ranked Dunster last this year. Honestly, we can’t figure out why, but if there is one true drawback to Dunster, it is the size of the rooms. With the smallest room in the House coming in at a measly seventy-seven square feet, space can be tight. Sophomores in walkthrough doubles and juniors in walk-through triples must often loft their beds, and “Dunster Desks”, found in a few rooms, are quite…petite. Luckily, by senior year giant common rooms and gorgeous river views are common.



Mascots: The Elephant, Domus, and a great house anthem.

Amenities: Eliot has a great grille, a beautiful and well-paneled dining hall, a basement movie History: Eliot is one of Harvard’s original seven houses and is theatre, swipe access for House affiliates from the Charles side, named after one of Harvard’s most influential presidents, Charles and a ridiculously well-appointed courtyard. William Eliot. Eliot House has a reputation of being one of the “classiest” and most historical Houses on the campus. Before Stereotypes: Eliot’s denizens have been called stodgy, cold, the establishment of the lottery system, Eliot was a House for preppy, rich, classy, and snarky. The 1% of Harvard. People athletes and for the elites of Boston. House Masters Douglas A. worth hating on and “pseudo-intellectuals,” according to a report Melton and Gail O’Keefe are unquestionably classy. by the Harvard Office of Research and Evaluation. Architecture: Eliot is well-known for its bell tower and its beautiful brick facade. The courtyard in Eliot is indisputably one of the nicest at Harvard, and the classic Ivy League dorm feeling — with all the right hardwoods and stone tiles — adds to the mystique of the House. Location: The south-western most of Harvard’s housing options, right across JFK Street from the Kennedy School and right across Memorial Drive from the Charles.

The Mascot: Mark Zuckerberg

Perks: Location (relative privacy), beautiful common spaces, and plenty of gorgeous places to hang out. Drawbacks: Location (relative distance from the Yard without a shuttle), obnoxious preppiness, and a persistent sense that Eliot is a special place for specially chosen people. Traditions: Eliot Fête (a très chic formal), money fights, undercooked d-hall chicken, and a ton of great House spirit.

commonly used for large-scale college events, such as Cultural Rhythms, and hosting influential politicians.

The Architecture: Kirkland is a collection of brick, ivy-adorned buildings, most of which surround a beautiful central House Masters: Tom and Verena Conley courtyard. A perpetually locked gate onto assume the auspicious responsibilities JFK tricks rising sophomores every time. as Kirkland House Masters. Both are in the Romance Language and Literatures Location: Kirkland is one of three houses department and avid Red Sox fans. As cornering the grassy knoll flanking the the smallest house, the residential staff MAC. It’s conveniently located close plays a particularly important role in the to Noch’s, the Garage, and that weird tight house community. preppy clothing store where that one legacy’s great-grandfather bought his Stereotypes: Incestuous billionaires. boat shoes. The People: Kirkland residents are Amenities: Kirkland has some of the best healthily endowed with of house spirit: it’s amenities of all the houses, boasting a a small community, and it’s a tight one. grille, a recently installed brewery, game Kirkland has many popular traditions, rooms, music practice rooms, and a such as the house-wide Secret Santa gift gym. Kirkland also has common spaces exchange and the annual “Incestfest,” to


which only Kirkland residents are invited. Maybe they’re a little quirky, but they like it that way. Housing: The Kirkland population isn’t the only thing that’s small. Sophomores don’t get the best housing (typically in triples and quads), but housing, like fine wine, improves with time. Kirkland also owns part of DeWolfe, but the distance from Kirkland tends to separate the DeWolfe residents from the close-knit community that thrives in the hub of Kirkland. Pros: Close community, proximity to the yard, and the incredibly high probability that you’ll run into someone famous. Cons: No napkins on the d-hall tables and, you know, incest.

03.08.12 • The Harvard Independent


We Found Lev In a Hopeless Place Basics: Named after John Leverett, the president of Harvard from 1708-1724, Leverett has an extensive [construction] history. McKinlock Hall (aka Old Lev) was built in 1925, and the Leverett Towers (Harvard’s first foray into high rise architecture—whoops) were completed in 1960. McKinlock is traditional Harvard style: brick, dark wood banisters, and beautiful gated courtyard. The Towers are…modern. Lev’s current mascot is the (baller) bunny, and House Masters Howard Georgi (“Chief”) Ann Georgi are a major source of house pride. Rosie and Bandit, the couple’s adorable dogs, aren’t bad either. Amenities: Weight room, award-winning library, bike rentals, music practice rooms, a basketball court (Jeremy Lin may or may not have practiced here), and House Master Howard Georgi’s beard. Stereotypes: Full of basketball players and physicists. Okay, those aren’t necessarily untrue. But the people, well, they’re bunnies. They’re hoppin’, they’re multiplyin’, they’re Leporideous. The House layout isn’t the most conducive to a tight community, but everyone is friendly, welcoming, and happy to be a part of this wonderful house. Pros: Diverse rooming options, spacious rooms and huge windows in the Tower suites, warm and welcoming dining hall, great food (the salad bar is arguably the best on campus), caring house staff, its own programming station (LevSPN), and location, location, location. But by far the best part of living in Leverett can be summed up in one word: monkeybread. Our Master’s Open House is a conglomeration of some of the most delicious sustenance that has ever been dreamed up: green punch, taquitos, Swedish meatballs, and monkeybread. Want to know what it is? Let’s hope a Bunny comes knocking on your door. Cons: Lev isn’t particularly known for its house spirit, as there are no real common spaces like there are in other houses. While house pride is not the highest, the majority of Leverett residents would agree that Lev is a great place to spend your college years.

The Bells of Lowell House

Named for former university president Abbot Lawrence Lowell, famous for creating the House system and expelling gay students in his free time (not to mention some other racial and religious controversies), Lowell House was built in 1930 with the 17 loud and out-of-tune Russian bells that have since been repossessed and reincarnated for the still-weekly ringing on Sunday afternoons atop the most pompous – but awesome – bell tower around. Made up of brick and mortar, Lowell is classically Harvard. With the strictly vertical entryways and basement tunnels that are by no means a shortcut, it’s most common to see friends in one of Lowell’s two grassy and squirrel-filled courtyards. As it is completely self-contained, it’s a nice feel inside the house, but a few unfortunate entryways have to walk past the trash to get to their rooms. The Harvard Independent • 03.08.12


Lowell is classy. From Bacchanalia, the spring formal, to the May Day celebration, to the Overture of 1812, and Yule log burning, Lowell has 80 years of traditions that require willing participants to participate in the annual revelry. While the House isn’t known for its spirit, it’s well loved by everyone. With House Masters Diana Eck and Dorothy Austin at the helm as some of the most revered masters at the college, it’s not hard to see why.

Snug Fit

Nuzzled up between Quincy, Winthrop, and a couple of final clubs, Lowell occupies prime real estate off of Mt. Auburn Street. Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Yard, the dining hall is primarily a community hotspot at all hours of the day and night. If you can stomach the deep yellow walls of the d-hall, the dark and dingy basement amenities will be well appreciated.



Latherin' it Up Building Up

Built in 1971, Mather House was built to be riot-proof, the result being a drab, concrete, "Brutalist" complex overlooking the Charles River. The house is named for former university president Increase Mather, who served from 1692 to 1701.

In spite of their isolation from much of the university, Matherites have developed a strong sense of community and House spirit. From intra-House competitions to the bright red headbands Matherites are seen sporting at House events, it is clear that Mather love is strong. Mather’s biggest party of the year, Mather Lather, is a sudsy, yet slightly unsanitary event that draws a crowd from all over campus. Happy hours every other week keep the House entertained all year long. Famous alumni include CS 50 lecturer David J. Malan ’99 and funnyman Conan O’Brien ’85. In the words of Mather HoCo: “Mather ] is a family. A family that will never leave you without a pong partner in the lowrise or a study buddy in the dining hall.”

The Concrete Jungle

One of the greatest aspects of Mather is that the House is chock full of singles — everyone gets one for all three years. And don’t let the concrete get you down. According to Mather HoCo, the House is “designed specifically to showcase both works of art and the unique Brutalist architecture of the House itself.” Still, Mather is so far from the Yard, you might as well be in the Quad.


The oldest parts of Pforzheimer House (PfoHo) date to 1901. During the 1949-50 academic year, Moors opened and plans for Holmes were first drawn up. Construction of Comstock began seven years later. Male students were first assigned to the House around 1971, but the legacy of floor-length hall mirrors remained for them to enjoy. The Jordans, considered by some the “Quad of the Quad”, opened for business as an experiment in cooperative living in 1961 after having been part of Radcliffe College’s East House. The use of Jordan as a co-op persisted until 1997. Harvard purchased Wolbach, formerly an apartment building, in 1964. The townhouses of Faculty Row joined the House around 1971. The current House Masters are Dr. Nicholas Christakis and Mrs. Erika Christakis.

A Life of Luxury

Polar Express

PfoHo’s mascot is the Polar Bear, and is of immense pride to the entire house. Traditionally, the 90s dance, hosted in the PfoHo D-hall brings in an eclectic crowd from all over the college because nothing beats NSYNC. Pformals also really bring the entire house together.

Located in the Radcliffe Quadrangle, PfoHo is made up of red brick buildings, one of which has a giant, picturesque spire that looks gorgeous from the exterior. It also has the most amenities of any house at Harvard due to its unusually large size. It has a Happy Room for relaxation purposes, a piano room, numerous common rooms complete with large ping-pong tables, a house gym, a house weight room and a dance studio. According to PfoHo HoCo, “The house features centralized planning with our dining hall connecting many of the buildings so you can go just about anywhere in the house without having to go outside. You pass by people all the time on your way to a friend’s room, eating dinner, or just getting a drink during brain break and so it’s very common to see people stopping for a chat or catch-up.” PfoHo has some of the best sophomore housing with large singles and private bathrooms. Basically, that just improves every year. Singles for life! 8

Perks of Being a Quadflower

PfoHo boasts of large rooms, a spacious non-awkward dining hall (two floors), a tightknit house community, and the peace and quiet of the Quad. However, the distance from the square, the distance from the Yard, distance from all of civilization, and close proximity to Lesley University and Harvard Law School put PfoHo at a disadvantage.

03.08.12 • The Harvard Independent


Amenities and Rooms

The Quincy Grille is definitely one of the best perks of living in Quincy. Fried food in the middle of the night – what else could one wish for? It is also centrally located, and the perfect place to be able to visit (or to have) friends from all over the river. New Quincy also boasts of two-floor suites that are the perfect location for “socializing” on a Friday night.


Named after Josiah Quincy III, Quincy house opened in September 1959. It is currently the second largest house on campus. It is also a symbol of “new Harvard,” as it was the first house built since the original seven river houses were completed in the thirties. Quincy’s architecture is also reflective of this mix of old and new, from the small redbrick old Quincy (which used to be part of Lev) to the concrete façade of the Qube, the Quincy house library. To top it off, as the Quincy Hoco would point out, only one house can call itself the alma mater of “Chuck Norris. But Actually.”

Living It Up

From the mouth of Hoco: Quincy Assassins.  Enough said.  Field Day (which pits the three classes against one another) and Exorcism, Swing Dance, Ping Pong tournaments, Q-Ball, and the frequent (and delicious) Master’s Open Houses! The best house party – Every single Penguin Pub (our better version of Stein Club)—MARIACHI!


Sophomore housing can be cramped, and the dining hall’s hideous mural is often hidden behind the throngs of strangers crowding into the d-hall to meet friends in a central location. And somehow, commencement under the Qube just isn’t that pretty.


Winthrop House is named after John Winthrop and several of his progeny who shared his name. (The official name of the House is actually John Winthrop). Winthrop House’s two buildings, Standish and Gore, are similar in their U-shaped structure but, other than that, are completely different from each other. Gore Hall was modeled after Hampton Court Place in London, England, while Standish is of original design. Despite their differences, the two buildings standing side-by-side, separated by a small courtyard, have an understated sort of visual harmony. Both buildings have vertical entryways and most rooms have views of the Charles River. House Masters Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson (and their two adorable children: Trey and Chase), keep the House a home.


The House gym is Winthrop’s best-kept secret. Equipped with a full set of free-weights, ergs, treadmills, and stationary bikes (both standing and recumbent), Winthrop’s gym is a great place to go and exercise the stress away. Furthermore, sophomore housing is fantastic! Winthrop does not have walkthroughs. Most rooms are suite-style with a large common room and rooms that radiate from it. The Harvard Independent • 03.08.12


The main perks of Winthrop House are the location, the large rooms with private bathrooms, and the House gym. No vermin sightings to date. Also, Winthrop is centrally located on the river. It is a three-minute walk from the yard or the Harvard Square T Station, a six-minute walk to the Science Center and a tenminute walk to Harvard Stadium.


Winthrop is lacking in House spirit, and having to leave the building to do laundry on a cold day can be unpleasant at times, unless you are one of the lucky ones who happen to be in the entryway with the laundry room. Unlike its neighboring house, Lowell, Winthrop’s entryways are not connected underground, so going from entryway to entryway in the winter can be annoying.

A Winning Streak

Winthrop has won the Straus Cup four years running, and they love their intramurals. Love them. Loooooove them, and they aren’t ready to give that cup up anytime soon. In addition to a ferocious competitive streak, ‘Throppers enjoy their unique tire swing and patio, and their Stein Club can drum up a good attendance. All in all, even though the dining hall gets a bad rap for its dark lighting, the House is charming, and well loved.


And the Winner Is…

A look at the 2012 Housing Videos that struck a chord.



t’s hard to believe that it’s already

Housing Day again. As another year ticks by, the return of Housing Day is a bittersweet reminder that time is moving on and that sooner or later graduation will come. Along with Housing Day come the muchanticipated Housing Day videos. These Housing Day videos serve the dual purposes of expressing House pride and competing for who can create the most entertaining video with the highest production value. That being said, this year was quite possibly the most contested year when it came to deciding on Housing Day video winners. Never before have opinions on Housing Day videos been so varied. Whereas last year, Quincy was the clear winner, with “Quinception” (2011), this year there was no obvious winner. That being said, here are the rankings for the 2012 Housing Day videos. First Place: Mather – “Call Me Mather” Mather came ahead this year for a

number of reasons. The first reason was the choice of song. They picked a song that is still popular and current, meaning that people are still listening to the song. The tune is catchy and they took the time to write substitution lyrics, unlike some of the other houses. As for the footage itself, while it definitely doesn’t have high production value, the footage is entertaining and quite memorable. It also features a large, energetic ensemble cast. In fact, Mather’s video was one of the few videos to feature a large group of house members. This impressive participation in the video really speaks to the house spirit in Mather and that is why “Call Me Mather” takes home the victory for 2012. Second Place: Leverett – “Lev Solo Cup” While their video is not as exciting as last year’s “I Just Got Lev”, like Mather, Lev chose a current song that most people would recognize and then they took the time to write some substitution lyrics. Also, the voice

editing in the middle of the video was much appreciated. In addition to this, Lev also gets major points for house participation. Third Place: Quincy – “Q-Men: Freshman Class” Quincy chose a wonderful, winning concept, to parody the X-Men franchise. For the second year in a row, Quincy has proven that it can make a great movie-themed Housing Day video, but after “Quinception”, the level of expectation for Quincy was high and “Q-Men” didn’t quite measure up. Better luck next year. Run of the mill, mediocre videos: Adams – “The Housing Games” (good mimicry of dialogue from The Hunger Games’ trailer, but it was too self-referential. Quincy managed to replicate the concept of X-Men: First Class, without ever mentioning any of the character’s names from X-Men or referencing the movie directly. By contrast, to drive home the message, the actors in the Adams housing video

Tunnels, Studios, and Potential Places, Oh My! By YUQI HOU


ousing week calls on the

Harvard community to obsess over all aspects of our glorious upperclassmen dormitories: libraries, gyms, sprawling courtyards, and dining halls. However, a true housing welcome is incomplete without consideration of each house’s art scene. The arts add another dimension to house life not found in its wares or its foosball tables. Adams House is perhaps the house with the most artistic character, which translates into a bustling community that fosters artists through various resources and spaces. In recent times, many other houses too have made an effort to build up resources for artists within the house. The tunnels under Adams are known for their colorful walls, full of paintings by previous Adams residents. They bridge the different entryways in Adams; spiral staircases lead to small doors that burst onto random hallways. When you first enter the tunnels through the main entrance of Adams, you are immediately faced with a dizzying array of pop culture 10

references, quotes from poems and songs, and visual memorabilia of Harvard life. The tunnels of Adams fork right at the beginning. Fittingly, over one of the arches someone has painted “2 roads diverged in a wood and I took my weed whacker and made my own freaking path.” Also in the tunnels are doors that lead to storage closets and mysterious locked doors. Two such locked doors are labeled “Welcome to the world of creative labeling” and “Caution: elephants inside.” The tunnels are painted annually in the spring. If you keep to the left in the tunnels, you will surface somewhere in B-Entryway. One of the doors has a small sign labeled “Bow and Arrow Press.” Despite the innocuous sign, the Bow and Arrow press is a haven for print-making enthusiasts, containing everything from letters and ink to 1,500 pound machines. The Bow and Arrow Press holds open press night every Thursday from 7 to 10pm, which is free for Harvard undergraduates. It also offers 2-4 hour master classes once

began to refer to each other by the names of characters from The Hunger Games), Winthrop – “Throp Gun” (funny, but about fifteen years too late), Pfoho – “Shit River People Say” (more like “Shit Nobody Says”), Eliot – “Always Something to Celebrate” (got called out by for promoting elitism at Harvard and was subsequently removed from YouTube by Eliot HoCo. Coincidence? I think not.) Dunster – The Dunster video wins points for adorableness and clever(ish) song lyrics, but the video was poorly filmed (perhaps due to the theft of the HoCo’s recording equipment) and the part actually about Dunster lacked spark – and people. The worst: Currier, Kirkland (Thanks for all of the inside jokes, jerks.) Cabot (If you can’t sing like Adele, don’t try.) Whitney Lee ’14 (whitneylee@college) is still wondering where Lowell’s housing video went…

The Indy looks at art in the houses.

a month and a four-week crash course on printing projects of your choice. Around the corner from the Bow and Arrow Press is the Adams Pool Theater. The room used to be a pool but was renovated to become the theater after one too many shenanigans. Now the pool is a space for student-lead theatrical productions, comedy shows, movie screenings, lectures, workshops, and art exhibitions. Students can apply twice a year to hold productions and student events in the pool theater, though events led by Adams residents are given preference. Applications go through the Pool Theater Manager. Finally, the squash courts turned art space/studio is a great place to host poetry readings, gallery showings, and the like. While Adams may be more known for its arts scene than other houses, each of the houses have their own studios and other spaces that foster creativity. Most of the houses have dance studios and music practice rooms. Quincy, Dunster, and Mather all have pottery studios. In addition, the Dunster House Opera puts on a

performance once a spring in Dunster's beautiful dining hall. Auditions for the production is open to all undergraduates. For art appreciators, the Pfoho Pflim Club owns over 600 movies that students can rent for free. You simply need to fill out a contract, which can be found on the Pflim Club website, and return it to the Pfilm Club closet located in Comstock. Students can request movies using the online form and have their films dropped off at their dorms. Arts in the houses is expanding. Cabot Cafe, which began last year, is now a space for people to relax or work together, host events, or display their art. The Office for the Arts at Harvard has a great listing of all the art spaces in all the houses on their website. Go to 'Quick Links' and then click on 'House Resources', or go to http://www.ofa.fas. Yuqi Hou '15 (hou@college) is surprised at what all the houses have to offer. And at the amount of unused space in Adams house basement. 03.08.12 • The Harvard Independent



Men’s Basketball to Play in NCAA Tournament Is this the beginning of a dynasty?



he Harvard men’s basketball

history this week by earning a spot in the NCAA tournament, the first time it has done so since 1946. Having played incredibly well this season and clinching a second consecutive Ivy League title, the team earned the league’s automatic bid to the tournament. Despite the team’s spectacular performance, it was this past Tuesday’s game between Princeton and Penn — who threatened to force a playoff game — that sealed the deal. Crimson basketball’s last regular season games took place this past Friday and Saturday against Columbia and Cornell, respectively. Friday’s game at Columbia ended at 77-70 in overtime. Harvard started off strong, reaching a ten-point lead of 18-8 in the first half. Columbia began to catch up, however, forcing the Crimson to stay on their toes. For the rest of the half, Columbia stayed well within ten points of Harvard’s score. With just over a minute left, Harvard managed a decent lead of 34-28, until the Lions scored. Harvard entered the second half against Columbia 34-30. Though the Crimson had the lead, Columbia continued to keep the score close. The Lions stayed just a point behind the Crimson at around the fifteen-minute mark and continued the trend for a couple minutes. With just under ten minutes left, Harvard led by four, 53-49. Neither team scored until the 7:36 team made

The Harvard Independent • 03.08.2012

Courtesty of WikiCommons mark, with Columbia bringing the score to a close 53-51. With a minute and a half left, Harvard led by two. However, the Crimson could not keep the lead, and Columbia scored, forcing the game into overtime at 6262. Harvard played well in overtime,

no doubt due to the team’s desire to finish the weekend undefeated. Unlike the rest of the game, Harvard managed to hold solid leads in the extra five minutes, emerging victorious 77-70. Saturday’s game against Cornell

finished with Harvard winning 67-63. Harvard led throughout the first half. Although Cornell managed to close the gap on Harvard’s initial strong leads, the Crimson finished the first half ahead by six at 27-21. In the beginning of the second half, Cornell closed the point gap yet again. Harvard, however, pulled off a burst of scoring runs, bringing the score to 50-39 and reaching an eleven-point lead at the 7:56 mark. Cornell slowly caught back up, but it was too little, too late. After two free throws in the last ten seconds by Oliver McNally, Harvard ended its season with a victory and a share of the title. Despite ending the season with two solid victories and a share of the championship, it was up to Princeton to secure Harvard’s title and bid to the NCAA tournament. Penn, who recently upset Harvard, leaving the Ivy League title up for grabs, needed to beat the Tigers to force Harvard into a playoff. Fortunately for Crimson fans, Princeton pulled through, defeating the Quakers 62-52. The 2011-12 athletic season has been spectacular for Crimson sports. With football’s title win and basketball’s upcoming journey to the NCAA tournament, Harvard has much to celebrate. With twenty-six wins, Crimson basketball has set a program record. If Harvard basketball can win at least one round of the upcoming tournament, it will prove the season was not a fluke and


captured & shot By MIRANDA SHUGARS

Welcome Home  

The Harvard Independent welcomes the Class of 2015 home. Congratulations, and remember: everything is always only as good as you make it.

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