Illustration of infested and dilapidated Harvard dorm room. Illustration by Angel Zhang | The Harvard Crimson
Illustration of infested and dilapidated Harvard dorm room. Illustration by Angel Zhang | The Harvard Crimson

Dilapidated Dorms: How Harvard Undergrads Cope with Run-Down Housing

Some students say they’ve grown accustomed to living with rodents and the occasional maintenance problem in dilapidated houses. But for others, housing problems raise broader concerns about how run-down living spaces may detract from quality of life at Harvard.


Alden C. Codding ’27 said that when the doorknob on the inside of her bedroom door in Straus Hall stopped working, she and her roommate found themselves locked inside their room.

Codding called the entrapment, which required outside assistance to free them, a “huge fire hazard.” Yard Ops — responsible for maintenance of more than 40 Faculty of Arts and Sciences buildings and freshman dorms — fixed the doorknob three weeks later, only for it to break “within the hour,” leading to Codding and her suitemate becoming trapped in the room for a second time.

Codding’s experience reflects just one of the growing body of student complaints about the state of housing at Harvard. Read more…


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