{shortcode-8935a13a75627683c2374df2587cb3003aefba10} The clock is ticking! In a couple of days, freshmen nestled in every corner of the Yard will wake up to pounding feet, aggressive knocks, and housing chants. If you are like me, these couple of days are an opportunity to learn as much as you can about the Houses that you will be tied to for the rest of your life (a.k.a. the next three years). As you will soon see for yourselves, no House story is complete without the lowlights — here are a couple scandals to open your eyes to both sides of housing life.

The Time Cabot Actually Turned into an Aquarium

The last thing you want when you live on the furthest corner of campus is to get flooded out of your home. Fourteen years ago, that is exactly what happened to 10 students in D Entryway. After hearing a loud bang, a group of roommates watched in horror as gallons of muddy brown water poured into the suite, even setting off the fire alarm. The pipe burst will live in infamy for years to come.

Lowell Goes Lights Out!

In the span of 20 minutes just after the clock struck 12 in the year 2000, every single dorm in the comically large River House snapped out. It took maintenance hours to come to the root of the issue, leaving Lowell bathed in emergency lights. While faculty and staff desperately searched for answers, students took the electrical failure as an opportunity to sleep in!

The Quincy Fire of 1965

This one might just take the cake. Back in 1965, four suites were burned to a crisp when a fire broke out in what used to be the “new” section of the House. The fire resulted in 200 students evacuating onto DeWolfe Street and $35,000 in damages. Luckily, no one was seriously harmed that morning.

Winthrop’s Salmonella Outbreak

Digging through the Harvard outbreaks taught me one thing — infectious disease and college students are a tale as old as time, at least as old as 1978. Three years after my parents were born, more than 20 students contracted Salmonella, with the outbreak centered around Winthrop: “I went from table to table on Monday asking people if they had salmonella poisoning. I counted 22 people in 15 minutes,” says the Crimson article from the time. Talk about the HUDS scares!

Dunster Goat Roast Gotta Go

I still remember watching in amused horror last spring during my first Dunster Prom as the newly crowned Dunster Court plunged their bent plastic knife into the back of a luscious feathery (stuffed) goat to the beat of some throwback pop hit. Turns out the tradition has a pretty gruesome past — since the 1980s, Dunster has celebrated his house spirit by skinning and roasting the annual goat with a spritz of lime. The tradition ended in 2019…something about a health inspector?

Adams 0, Fruit flies 1

Back in the olden days (cough cough, 2021) the Adams d-hall was closed, but this time it wasn’t for renovations. The d-hall was closed for two weeks after students reported finding fruit-flies in their HUDS trays. The main casualty of the extermination battle was the Adams House community. If it were me, I would ride the quad shuttle to Currier d-hall before you caught me in there.

There you have it, a couple of catastrophes that have marred housing history for decades to come. That’s not to say that you wouldn’t have an incredible time in any of these places (I promise, the fruit flies are gone, since the d-hall is!). As Housing Day comes up, just remember that what is meant to be, will be.