Life at Fenway House

Fenway is a coed independent living group for MIT students. We're 20 or so men and women living in a Boston brownstone studying, playing, (and plotting to take over the world).

Fenway has lots of social events throughout the semester, including Wednesday Dessertnites, dances, themed parties, movie watchings, and videogame nights; while most of the house hangs out together and attends these events, there are no mandatory events (but, of course, as there are only 20 of us, it's nice to hang out as a house, so we hope that everyone will try to socialize when they can). The only requirements for living here are that you pay rent, do a one hour per week house chore, and participate in workweeks in August and January. Everyone is equal here; there's no seniority and no initiation program. For the past few years, we've organized a big end-of-semester potluck Christmas dinner, as well as smaller Thanksgiving dinners for those people who didn't go home for Turkey Day.

About half the house lives in singles; the rest share doubles or triples. Rooming decisions are made at the end of each term at a house meeting. Things like having lived in a multiple-occupancy room, involvement in the Fenway community, helping out with the day to day workings of the house, helping out a lot with organizing events, being an officer, doing a good job with house chores, and generally being a good Fenbeing, are taken into account when discussing room assignments. Everyone pays the same amount of rent, whether they live in a single or a quad. We change rooms every semester so everyone can get a turn in a nice room, and everyone takes turns compromising to make others happy. It's worked pretty well so far.

We have a large, well-stocked kitchen that you're welcome to use. Every term we elect a steward, who is in charge of stocking the kitchen with staple foods. Milk, eggs, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken, and veggie burgers appear regularly in our Magic Fridge. Have a specific staple desire? Write it up on the steward board, and it will soon appear in our Magic Fridge! Food is included in rent, so you don't have to spend money during the semester if you don't want to.

What kind of people live at Fenway? The crazy kind! We've got people majoring in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, material science, architecture, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, biology, physics, neuroscience, geology, economics, aerospace engineering, and math, and minoring in theatre and literature. Who says you can't mix science and arts? We have people involved in the Shakespeare Ensemble, Musical Theatre Guild, the Gilbert and Sullivan Players and Dramashop. We have artists, writers, and dancers. We have a house piano and a few house guitars (also Rock Band - does that count?). We often go out to the theatre together, especially to support fellow house members involved in a show. Some of us are also athletes... and some just like to go to the gym together. And Sunday mornings we often go out for brunch in Chinatown.

We've had people from all around the country (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico) and from way outside the country (in the past few years: England, Scotland, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Mexico). Although most of our residents are MIT undergraduates, we also collect a handful of graduate students, international visiting students, and CME (Cambridge-MIT Exchange) every semester. We're an eclectic bunch! Fenbeings are open and tolerant; this is a live-and-let-live house. We love diversity and learning about new things, so we like filling up with very different people.

Getting to campus and back every day for classes isn't hard at all! Some of us walk, some bike, and some take a bus. Small groups of people will often leave the house together in the morning, or walk home together after classes or after various evening extracurriculars.

Want to learn even more about Fenway House? Check out our administrivia section; it'll tell you about house officers, and you can also read our constitution as well as a nitty-gritty guide to living at the house (the Way of the Fen). You can also take a virtual house tour to learn about the different rooms of the house and look at some pictures and floor plans.