Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Making the House a Home: A Blueprint for Action

What is the goal of the Cabot House Committee?

Ultimately, Cabot HoCo is hoping to enhance the housing experience of all Cabot House residents. While most students who identify strongly with their house have positive experiences, it is difficult to get some students to "buy-into" the house experience. Some students are looking only for a place to sleep, while some are looking for a place they can call home. As a HoCo, I believe it is our duty not to force our own definition of a house community onto the members of the house, but rather help enhance the housing experience for all who choose to participate. We aim to provide an inclusive, welcoming space for everyone in house to address the different wants and needs of our residents. With that, however, it is important to actively address the barriers that prevent students from engaging with the Cabot House community.

Barriers of involvement in House Life

After interview several residents of Cabot House with varying degrees of involvement, several themes emerged as key reasons for limited involvement in the house community, including:

Every resident is coming into the house with different levels of existing communities at Harvard.

Sophomores are already a year into their college experience, and are less likely to adapt their lifestyles to fit their house.

It is difficult to take the "first step" and fully buy-in.

When speaking with engaged Cabot students about how they initially got involved, they cited things like close relationships with tutors, pre-existing relationships with upperclassmen in the house, diving into the community with their blockmates, and the ability to find their niche as critical in getting students engaged. As a HoCo, there is little direct influence we have over any of these factors, but I have outlined several steps Cabot HoCo can take to facilitate greater buy-in among sophomores entering the House.

Initiatives to Enhance House Community Among Sophomores

Create More Inter-Class Bonding Opportunities

Focus on Outreach

Address Entry Barriers

Support Other Cabot Groups

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