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A Message From Dean Dingman Regarding Blocking

Freshman Dean Tom Dingman

Dear Members of the Class of 2015,

I hope that you are enjoying your second semester at Harvard and that this letter finds you well. I also hope that you are making progress on your blocking plans and being clear and considerate with those affected by them. Please consider what it is like to stand in someone else's shoes and how you would best receive news that is likely unsettling. You should also consider the very real possibility that a person you exclude from your blocking group may one day grow up to become the Dean of Freshmen and could have a considerable amount of power over most aspects of your future children's lives, should they be "fortunate" enough even to be admitted to Harvard. To assist you in the blocking process -- and to ensure that no perfectly suitable blockmate is excluded for some tenuous reason like he "just doesn't mesh with the group get over it Tom -- I have included a flowchart to help guide you to a satisfactory blocking outcome.

While I have your attention, I also want to reiterate what your Peer Advising Fellows and proctors have already told you about housing assignments: Each house -- with the exception of the three in the Quad and, to a lesser extent, Mather, Dunster, and Winthrop -- offers plenty of reasons why you should be excited to join its community on Housing Day. People stress about this every year but, for as long as I have been at Harvard, in the end, almost 75% of freshmen find that there was really nothing to be worried about. But, hypothetically, if freshman Jonathan Wadsworth of Hurlbut Hall ends up with a less-than-desirable housing assignment, his father, George Wadsworth '67, knows why.

I also want to remind all freshmen that HUPD and Cambridge Police will be strictly enforcing Massachusetts state laws regarding the consumption of alcohol and launching of inflamed rivercraft on Housing Day Eve. This means that you may not build or set fire to any boats on the night of March 7th. To be perfectly clear, you absolutely should not fashion a hull by cutting a milk carton in half, nor should you attach a mast made of Annenberg cutlery. You should not write nautical house puns like "Caboat" or "Pfort" on the vessel that you will not be building, and you certainly should not douse it in large quantities of lighter fluid before not launching it from the flat section of riverbank next to the Weld boathouse. You should also not participate in the dangerous event known as "River Run," a supposed Harvard "tradition" that barely dates back to the 18th "century" wherein freshmen take a "shot" in every house's "courtyard." In past years, freshmen females have also been known to combine this event with primal scream and to parade nude past my personal residence at 53 Dunster Street between 11:30pm and 11:45pm.

In an effort to provide an alternative to these dangerous events, I will be hosting an open house at my home -- again, ladies, that's 53 Dunster Street -- from 1am to 5am on Housing Day Eve. Due to limited space, a final-club entry policy will be in effect, but all freshmen are welcome to try and get in! Except Jonathan Wadsworth, who is not invited.

So, to recap: Block with compassion. Don't make or burn boats (especially not ones with reinforced balsa keels). And try not to worry about your housing assignment. But if you do get Quadded, just remember that a Stat 104 final project from several years ago found that there was no correlation between living in the Quad and developing genital herpes. (Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for being a Harvard College dean.)

53 Dunster Street,

Tom Dingman
Dean of Fresh

"The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son a thousand times." --Exodus 20:5

"But you have your mother's eyes!" --Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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