By Claire M. McLaughlin, Crimson Staff Writer

“Bells they chime, damn good time, getting into Lowell gonna blow your mind.” Last year’s Lowell Housing Day video was one for the ages and reminded us that Lowell—from the courtyard to the bells—is a pretty baller place. Not only is the House’s iconic blue bell tower one of the most prominent features on campus, but Lowell also boasts a close-knit community, a central location, enviable House Masters, and that back gate swipe access (sorry, Winthrop).

Housing: What to Expect

Lowell boasts what is arguably one of the most beautiful courtyards on campus, and on a nice spring day, it’s hard to match Lowell’s famous blue doors and the nice shade of the courtyard trees. Fortunately, Lowell’s centralized housing means that sophomores, juniors, and seniors can all enjoy the view.

Lowell has always had a bad rep for their small rooms. Sophomores may have to suffer a dreaded tiny walkthrough suite, but all residents are at least guaranteed n housing their first year—whether or not it’s spacious is another matter. Generally, seniors get n+1 housing, but like the rest of the House, it may still be small, and it may still be a walk-through. Those with dreams of large private singles all three years should go to Lowell tea and eat their feelings.

The Lowdown

As every Lowell student knows, Professor Diana L. Eck and her wife Diana A. Austin, a lecturer on Psychology, are two of the best House Masters on campus—more on that later.

Lowell also manages to maintain one of the most closest communities on campus. "It’s a very, very tight-knit community," said Dhruv P. Goyal ’16. Lowellians truly love each other and don’t need to prove it to other students with, say, an annual House-wide tonsil hockey tournament (we see you, Kirkland). “The HoCo does a wonderful job hosting Stein Clubs on Fridays, which are very successful and well-attended,” said Goyal. The House also recently came together to help name a new dog, Percy, that will be joining the Lowell family next year.

Lowell also boasts some unique facilities, including squash courts and a climbing wall in the basement, which admittedly don’t get much foot traffic from the general student body.

Although it doesn’t enjoy a direct view of the Charles, Lowell’s central location is hard to beat. "It’s right in the middle of everything," said Christian N. Fohrby ’14. "If you go out the back, you’re close to all the River Houses. If you go out the front, you’re basically in the Yard."

Why Your Friends Will Be Jealous

Dorothy and Diana are two precious, alliterative gems in the rough market of sometimes mediocre House Masters. Not only are Dorothy and Diana game to appear in Lowell Housing Day videos each year, but they also open their home to the entire House and Harvard community every Thursday at 5 p.m. for Lowell Tea. "That’s the oasis of the week," said Fohrby. "For many people, it’s the thing that’s the same every week. You can always come to tea and relax." The bad news is that because your friends from other Houses are also technically invited to Lowell Tea, you forfeit your bragging rights.

If weekly tea helps to create an intimate community foundation, Lowell speeches really cement it. Throughout the spring semester, students take to the dining hall and give five-minute speeches on a variety of topics. "It creates community in a wild way, to see somebody pour their heart out and then be getting a drink with them later in the week. We get to know each other personally in that way," said Fohrby.

Lowell has also been home to some of Harvard’s most treasured alumni. Former Lowellian Matt Damon once famously thanked Lowell House in his Oscar acceptance speech for Good Will Hunting and has a tattoo of the Lowell Bell Tower inked over his left breast.* Natalie Portman, who moved out of Lowell after sophomore year to live in an off-campus apartment, is no longer acknowledged by the House.**

*we think.

But Don’t Get Too Excited

Lowell’s dining hall may be filled with friendly faces, but it’s also pretty damn yellow and lacking in the classic Harvard gravitas of other dining halls (see Dunster, Eliot, and every other dhall on campus). The chandeliers are also a bit gauche, and the crowded servery also leaves something to be desired. Still, they make up for it with Goretti, the popular Swedish dhall swiper, and Sarah, the rock and roll-loving lady who works at the grill.

While many Lowellians praise the House’s central location on campus, it also occupies the same neighborhood as a number of final clubs, offering a nice, omnipresent reminder of that time you didn’t get punched. It can also be terrible on a Saturday night while you’re trying to do a pset and your noisy neighbors are trying to do other things with of-age, consenting collegiate women from peer institutions and/or nearby freshman dorms. Fohrby notes that some Lowell students think the Fly actually plays pretty good music, but those people are probably lying to themselves.

Finally, everyone knows that the Lowell bells are actually kind of a bust—they’re loud, they ring for a long time every Sunday, and only rarely is it possible to parse out an actual tune. Many a Lowell student has been stirred from Sunday slumber by the din of "Call Me Maybe," Russian bell-style. Other students, however, are quick to defend the iconic bells. "Since the bells start ringing at 1 p.m. every Sunday, I don’t really trust [people who complain that they get woken up by them]," said Fohrby. "One p.m.? Really?" So if you’ve never slept past 1 p.m. on a Sunday, congratulations—you have your life together and will probably love living in Lowell.