Some might refer to Pforzheimer House as the best House in the Quad, but its residents refer to it as the best House at Harvard! Filled with guinea pigs, a bee habitat, and the Igloo, being sorted into Pfoho is truly an unpforgettable experience.
Pfoho thrives off of its tight-knit and active community — most of its events are Pfoho-specific and catered to those living in the House. And trust us, this House knows how to throw an event! Some of their most iconic examples include the themed Open Houses with weeks of prior planning, tons of fun, and good food — one even had a huge chocolate fountain — and cool themes like Harry Potter! They also have smaller events like S’mores Night (being that they’re the only House in the Quad with a fireplace on their terrace) and fancy ones like the Pfoho High Tea, which the Resident Deans serve and cater.
House pride is very prevalent in Pfoho as well. While most Houses have one mascot costume, Pfoho has eight. HoCo co-chair Javin Pombra ’22 even claims that people fight over who gets to wear the costumes on Housing Day. He adds, “It’s not fun wearing a polar bear costume. You’re like sweaty, kinda gross; you can’t really breathe or see. But people still wanna do it because they just love Pfoho that much, which I think is a very symbolic expression of our spirit.” Moreover, steins are really well attended at the House, and Pombra notes that if you happened to come to Pfoho on a random Thursday night, there’d be a line out of the door for the event!
On a normal day, Pfoho’s Dhall is where a lot of the socializing magic happens. It’s common for people to go there not even to eat, but just to get work done and talk to other House members — what Pombra calls the “small moments of House spirit.” Basically, the House members love interacting with one another, and show up to anything the House has to offer!
While the lively House culture Pfoho had pre-Covid looks a bit different now, HoCo chairs and members have done their best to keep it alive — and from the looks of these events, they’re doing a great job at it, too! Pfoho HoCo has transitioned some of their favorite House events into the virtual world, and (despite Zoom fatigue) the Pfohomies have come through in full force. Recently, they hosted a Trivia Night, and over 40 people came ready to throw down some ~knowledge~! Also, to welcome this year’s sophomores, they’ve started new traditions like a House mentorship program and sent their newest residents care packages filled with Pfoho swag.
Pfoho is made up of five main buildings, including the Jordans, an apartment complex nearby. There are tons of singles, and it’s very common for sophomores to get one if they desire — the House 100 percent prioritizes student wants, according to Pombra. So whether you desire a big suite or a single, Pfoho has it all! Pombra said he believes Pfoho has “the best sophomore housing in all of Harvard.”
All classes are integrated together to further develop a House community. A room that sophomores can especially look forward to is the Duplex on the top floor of Pfoho — composed of two stories with a large common room, lots of singles, and two bathrooms (wow!). The Belltower is another place that upperclassmen usually reside in… but they typically throw tons of parties, so you might get to see it before it’s your time to live there too!
And Pfoho has more to offer than just its amazing living spaces — the House has tons of common spaces and amenities too! One is the Arcade room, with loads of games to choose from (like our personal favorite, air hockey); another is the Pfojo (the Pfoho twist of a dojo) that offers yoga, a gym, and martial arts! After your workout, you might want to hit the Spfa, filled with massage chairs. And, of course, they have music rooms and a library as well. The JCR holds the Dhall and the Quad Grille, where steins are usually held and are always filled with laughter and fun times.
If that wasn’t enough to sell you, Pombra answered some pfun questions so you could get a pfeel of the House.
What’s the biggest misconception about your House?
JP: That living in the Quad somehow makes you have FOMO or makes you far away from things… Like number one, you won’t have FOMO because there is literally so much happening in the Quad. Number two, even in the winter, even when it’s warm, the best way to clear your mind is a walk. There will be no FOMO, and you will enjoy the walk. The Quad is not that far, that’s the biggest misconception — and people will come visit you.
If you could describe your House in 3 words, what would it be?
JP: Pfabulous. Pfriendly. Pfestive.
What is something people in your House all have in common?
JP: Being genuine. When they say “let’s get a meal,” you’ll get a meal with someone in Pfoho. It won’t be just a passing comment. Everyone who is in Pfoho ends up wanting to talk to you and wanting to get to know you… I’ll just say authenticity and genuineness. Also a love for polar bears.
What’s the ~vibe~ of your House?
JP: It’s cozy — think of like, sitting next to a window with a couple of friends, seeing the snow outside and having a cup of hot chocolate, next to a fireplace. I think that’s the perfect vibe.
Read our overviews of the other Houses here!