Bead necklaces, costumes, music, and dancing … the Yard gave every appearance of a Mardi Gras festival Thursday morning, but the celebration had less debauchery and more consequence as hundreds of students representing every College House gathered outside University Hall for Harvard’s annual Housing Day.
Students from each of the 12 undergraduate Houses dressed as mascots, chanted along to music, and held signs supporting their respective communities. Pforzheimer students came in full-body polar bear dress, Currier students decked out as trees, and Cabot students sported fish costumes. Kirkland students were the first to arrive, staking out the coveted spot directly in front of the John Harvard Statue.
Caleb Heuvel-Horowitz ’21 was up at 5 a.m. to show his support and to help notify first-year students where they will spend the remainder of their undergraduate years.
“I’m here to show that Kirkland is a really tight community,” he said. “We love each other and we’re really excited to welcome some new sophomores into the Kirkland family.”
Signs demonstrated not only House pride, but also Harvard creativity. Kirkland students proudly boasted that “Kirkland is Your Land”; Mather bragged “No Place I’d Mather Be”; Leverett students proclaimed “I Thought Lev Was Only True in Fairy Tales”; and Cabot students referenced their mascot with “You Wish You Were a Fish.”
Dean of Students Katie O’Dair spent the morning circulating, greeting students and taking selfies.
“This is such a great celebration of the Houses,” she said. “Housing Day is not only a fun event, but a reflection of how special each of these communities are.”
First-year student Riley Hoveland was on the edge of her seat waiting to find out where her next home would be. She was delighted to learn she would head to Leverett House in the fall.
“I woke up at 7:30 and we were all really nervous, but then I heard students yelling, ‘Leverett! Leverett!’” she said. “It was great, a lot of fun, and I’m super excited for next year.”