Before the Dudley Co-operative Society was founded in 1958 as alternative housing for Harvard undergraduates, it was a bed and breakfast where Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge are reported to have slept.
Today, co-op resident and ethnomusicology concentrator Christopher Johnson-Roberson ’11 says life in the co-op, which houses 30 undergrads, two resident tutors, and a tutor’s spouse in its two buildings, supports his academic and social interests. “My academic work focuses on how music can be a means to promote social cohesion and also express political protest,” he said. “The jam sessions at the co-op represent a synthesis of all the components of the community that I appreciate.”
Residents do their own cooking and cleaning. Multiculturalism is reflected in the co-op’s cuisine during nightly communal meals. One evening, Iman James ’12 chopped fresh bunches of kale while Alice Gissinger ’11 dropped dabs of butter into a wok full of rutabaga for a special vegetarian menu: kale verde con rutabaga, curried couscous, salade de lentilles, and cheesecake.
When Gissinger was working intensively on her senior thesis recently, fellow co-op members helped care for her day-to-day needs according to a point system that is described in the co-op sutra, a book of house rules written and updated by previous residents and passed down each year.
“In the co-op, it’s not just my social life that’s provided for,” said Gissinger. “There is a feeling of reciprocity that encourages communication, respect, collaboration, and community.”
Opting for the Co-op
Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Remeike Forbes '11 (left) plays a spirited rendition of “Old Joe Clark” while changing the words for comic effect. Iman James '12 listens.
Fit and happy
"Fitness is an important part of co-op life," said Victoria Koski-Karell '12, who does pull-ups inside her room at the Dudley Co-operative Society, which is an affiliate of Dudley House that was founded in 1958 as alternative housing for undergraduates.
Karl Marx wall
Daniel Schade '11 shows the "Tribute to Karl Marx" wall, which also includes a photo of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the Star Trek character portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart.
Stirrin' and fryin'
Alice Gissinger '11 prepares "kale verde con rutabaga" for dinner.
Mise en place
Iman James '12 assists chef Alice Gissinger '11 with chopping and dicing.
Victoria Koski-Karell '12 (from left), Bethany Potter '13, Co-op President Daniel Schade '11, and Daniel Yavuzkurt '12 line up for a vegetarian buffet dinner.
Apple pancake sampler
Co-op President Daniel Schade '11 showcases some kooky art bedazzling the walls.
Remeike Forbes '11 (from left) bonds over food and talk with Iman James '12, Katharine Vidt '13, and Christopher Johnson-Roberson '12.
After dinner, Christopher Johnson-Roberson '12 strums a number next to Daniel Schade '11.
A good man
Christopher Johnson-Roberson does dishes.
Bethany Potter '13, Victoria Koski-Karell '12, and Christopher Johnson-Roberson '12 unwind with some tunes.
Y'all come back now!
Thanks for visiting Dudley House Co-op, where anything is possible...