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Harvard Freshmen Will Have Swipe Access to Upperclassman Houses During ‘River Run,’ DSO Says

The Dean of Students Office said it will not restrict freshmen swipe access to upperclassman Houses during River Run this year.
The Dean of Students Office said it will not restrict freshmen swipe access to upperclassman Houses during River Run this year. By Sarah G. Erickson

Freshmen will have swipe access to upperclassman Houses this year during “River Run,” the Dean of Students Office wrote in a statement to The Crimson on Wednesday.

The clarification comes as uncertainty swirled for days about potential changes to “River Run,” an annual tradition that involves entering and taking a shot of alcohol in all nine upperclassman Houses by the Charles River the night before housing assignments are revealed.

The Crimson erroneously reported on Tuesday that HUID swipe restrictions would remain in place for freshmen during the annual tradition following a miscommunication with a College spokesperson.

The decision to lift restrictions on Harvard University ID swipe access is a departure from past years when freshmen were unable to swipe into upperclassman Houses the evening before Housing Day.

The swipe access is not the only change to River Run this year. The First Year Experience and First Year Social Committee Offices will provide food trucks, a snack bar, and games at the Malkin Athletic Center to mark the informal college tradition.

While freshmen will have swipe access to the Houses during “River Run,” the individual Houses can take additional action regarding access to their spaces, according to the College. There will also be an enhanced security presence along the River Houses this year.

The decision to grant freshmen swipe access is a change that is likely intended to make the annual tradition safer. In the past, students were known to climb over fences and search for alternative methods to circumvent security and get inside all nine river Houses.

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