By Ritchey Howe
Start praying now.
Imagine you have the power to make your peers cry on the spot. You open the door, try as hard as you can to instill excitement in others, yet only witness tears and cries of desperation. “This can’t be happening!” “No go away!” Now imagine causing this torture to others throughout Housing Day. It is as though you are a demon, a disease-infested beast, whom no one desires to greet. This is what it must feel like to be from the Quad dorms when you tell freshmen that they will be living with you next year. Although Housing Day is supposed to be joyous, I cannot imagine that being the Grim Reaper of Housing can be too fun.
One of my sophomore friends recounted a story of huddling with her block-mates in her room waiting for their living assignment. They held hands and all chanted under their breath “Please not the quad.” They heard the upper-classmen from the quad dorms run through the halls. They heard the freshmen who answered their doors erupt into inconsolable sobbing fits. My friend held her breath and closed her eyes as she waited for the quaddies to leave. Then, there was silence. The block-mates all slowly opened their eyes and started to smile. “We aren’t quadded!” they started to whisper. As more minutes passed, it felt more certain that they had been blessed by the river gods. They started to dance and jump around as they happily waited for one of the river houses to greet them.
Little did they know that the Cabot House had forgotten a group… Cabot quickly came back up the stairs and announced to my friend that in fact she had not been spared. He had simply forgotten a room. She was too shocked to be upset.
I am yet to meet an undergraduate who hopes to live in the quad. Yes, the rooms are nicer and there are more singles but that small benefit does not compare with the long trek that is necessary to get to classes or practice. Because of this, I have tried to think of a few strategies to minimize, though not eliminate, chances of getting quadded. I have compiled a list with my favorites:
1) Chose your blocking group name wisely. Blocking groups have named themselves “Anything But the Quad” or “Save me from the Quad.” Perhaps the lottery system may be able to sense the desperation emitting from these group names.
2) Find someone with a health problem, or simply create one for yourself. This problem should have to be dealt strictly with by UHS, which is closer to the river houses. If the health issue is too grandiose, then this can increase your chances of living in the quad because Mt. Auburn Hospital is, in fact, closer to the quad. Quincy is apparently a latex-free dorm, so if you are registered with a latex allergy through the Accessible Education Office (AEO), then you are practically guaranteed to live in a river house!
3) Sleep with your pajamas inside out…it usually works when people wish for snow days. Maybe our wishes are more clearly expressed when our pajamas are inside out?
4) Have someone in your blocking group or linking group claim to need Kosher food. Therefore they will need to live closer to Hillel House. Again, this dietary restriction will need to be registered through the AEO.
5) Sacrifice something worthy to the river gods. Perhaps, if they are pleased, they will bestow their blessings upon you come Thursday morning.
6) Simply pray…can’t hurt right?
While none of these ideas can guarantee you safety from a Quad house, I can’t foresee negative consequences. However, I have heard of a story of a female student who was an Orthodox Jew. Due to her religion, she could not take transportation on Fridays, and the AEO was aware of this restriction. Her blockmates and linkmates alike both felt assured that this guaranteed that they would not be quadded. After all, if quadded, she would have to walk to class every single Friday. However, that is exactly what she must do.
In the grand scheme of things, living in Cabot, Currier, or Pforzheimer House is not the end of the world. However, if given the opportunity to increase your chances of not having to live in the quad, wouldn’t you take it?
Ritchey Howe ’17 (ritcheyhowe@college) is hoping to get Rivered.