If the Classics concentration at Harvard could be one of the upperclassmen Houses, it would be Lowell. From weekly tea-times and poemicals (readings and discussions of poetry hosted by the Lowell House Poemical Society) to mascot Bacchus — Roman god of wine, agriculture, and fertility — Lowell House stands out in more ways than their almost offensively beautiful bell tower (which has all the other Houses quaking, whether they want to admit it or not).
Suffering from a tragically poor sleep schedule? Not to worry: at 1 p.m. every Sunday when the Lowell bells ring, you will be woken up to the reality check you always needed as you attempt to remember where the half-eaten Jefe’s laying in your lap came from.
But that’s not all — Lowell is overflowing with quirky features and traditions. For instance, HoCo Treasurer Jonathan Z. Zhang ’23 mentions he loves how “... randomly in some of the hallways you just have study nooks, and the walls themselves can be written on with markers and erased.” He adds, “Lowell also yearly hosts an opera...that’s one of the things that sets them apart.” So not only can you draw on the walls, but you can do so under a live performance of “Don Giovanni”? Say less, we’re on our way to bribe the Dean of Students office right. now.
Lowell is also known for it’s lavish social events, like Glowell, Yule Ball, and Bacchanalia. These parties are equal parts grand and ~spicy~, and Zhang sums it up as Lowell being “sassy, bougie, and nasty,”, like a certain TikTok anthem.
The past year has been, well… “it’s just different.” Normally we would all be on campus drawing on the walls and watching the opera together, but alas, sometimes life has its own plans in mind. To remedy the transition to a virtual world, Lowell House has been cooking up many creative and exciting adapted events. For instance, every spring Lowell hosts an iconic formal event called the Bacchanalia, which is normally a very festive event with lots of traditions including togas, wine, and bells (hopefully you can experience this in person yourself later). This past year, though, Bacchanalia was hosted virtually over Club Penguin. Picture this: a disco floor, music, and, well, many (virtual) penguins.
Hooked? You should be. Lowell is constantly innovating ways to host new virtual events, whether this be pumpkin carving, virtual tea-times with speakers (which normally would be held weekly in person, baked goods included), and a myriad of other events such as Super Bowl andor Valentine’s Day parties.
Oh, and one other thing — the Lowell HoCo chairs provide a grant fund for student-led events, which can be put towards anything from movie-watching parties to actual in-person hiking trips. “That was a really good way to allow flexibility for students” to explore and adjust to the virtual format, mentions Lowell HoCo co-chair Bridger J. Gordon ’22, a former Crimson News editor. Future Lowellians can rest assured that they’ll be a part of the tight-knit community and can even organize fun events themselves.
Renovated just two years ago, Lowell boasts a beautiful interior that easily makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing residencesbest deals on Harvard’s campus. With new bathrooms, amazing lighting, and none of the questionable Canaday carpets, Lowellians truly live in luxury. When it comes to sophomore housing, although there are many possible configurations for rooms, Lowell is most notably known for its high proportion of singles. Upperclassmen suites house up to ten people, however, so fear not if you wish to live a more chaotic lifestyle.
As for common spaces, not only does Lowell have the iconic belltower (which, by the way, has a mezzanine-level Tower Room that overlooks one of the courtyardslookout room with large windows), there is also a gym, movie theater, art studio, music practice rooms, grille, and an entire underground study space, in addition to the library that’s open 24/7 (for that 5 a.m. work sesh trying to finish the pset you knew you should not have procrastinated on). As for party suites…Gordon says, “Since the whole House got re-renovated I guess it’s still yet to be determined which is the most elite party suite… that leaves it up to future years to decide.” Take that as you will.
Interested in learning more about the Lowell way of life? We asked the HoCo chairs a few final questions:
If Lowell House was a character from The Office, who would it be?
BJG: I want to say Jim.
JZZ: I was gonna say Pam, because she’s more put together than Jim.
BJG: Okay that’s fair. Pam.
What’s the most ~romantic~ spot in Lowell?
JZZ: I mean… because last semester the only “public” place where people could meet was the laundry room…
BJG: *laughs uncomfortably*
What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your House?
JZZ: The people who work in the building are really awesome. For example, one of the HUDS workers, June, knows that I ask for a packet of nutritional yeast every time I come, and one day she just stopped me and told me to wait a minute. She then came back with an ENTIRE BOTTLE of nutritional yeast.
BJG: The community itself is very wholesome and supportive; everyone feels welcome. Definitely get to know the faculty deans, they’re a crucial element of the community and help build that wholesome community I mentioned.