Prospective Members

Celebrating Family

Despite the various ways one can celebrate, for many, the meaning of Thanksgiving walks hand-in-hand with the meaning of family. For me, this holiday has always meant family, fun and food! (And an academic break, of course.) Even if you took away the delicious buffet, I would be more than happy to just be with my family. Google Dictionary defines “family” as:

fam·i·ly/?fam(?)l?/: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.

Though I frequently see Google as my best friend, I think it’s wrong this time. Family is more than just a household of children and parents. Family is love, a support system, a place to call home, a place to be yourself and is completely and utterly, yours. Whether it’s the typical American family, a mother and daughter, two partners or a group of friends, it is still a family.

Although most HER residents left Boston to share the holiday with family and/or friends and although we were all sad to leave a taste of this happiness, we still knew we were going home. Every time I’m in Boston, I call New York, “home,” and every time I’m in New York, I call Boston, “home.” Others may see that as a mistaken identity or geographical issue, but I know just what I mean. Home is where the heart is and as long as you’re around people you love, you’re home and with family.

The HER House family is a special kind of family. Where young women from all different backgrounds, beliefs, majors, passions, likes and dislikes can live under one roof and find common ground based on cooperative spirit. There’s not a day I am not thankful to enter through those black gates on Bay State Road and be greeted by the piano playing, conversations in the kitchen, studying in the dining room and the “hello”s and hugs all throughout the House. This is more than a household with 24 women, this is a family, and every day I’m with my family, I know I’m home, and I know it’s Thanksgiving. On behalf of everyone at the House and despite it’s belatedness, Happy Thanksgiving!

“No matter what we are, we are a family.”
– “Family” by Dreamgirls

– Renée Gaillard, CAS 2014

Open Mic Night

On November 19, 2012, the HER House hosted an open mic event. Yes, an Open Mic! It was nothing less than amazing. The ladies did a great job organizing the event and welcoming the guests who arrived to perform.

All proceeds from the Open Mic supported Girl Up. Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. It gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for those United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. A Girl Up staff member, Dory Gannes, was present to give a formal overview of the organization and facilitate discussion on prevalent issue facing girls around the world.

The House was filled with a wealth of talent from many schools and colleges  in the Boston area, including Berklee College of Music. At the Open Mic, the artists, including a few HER House residents, really dived into their music, comedy and poetry and performed as if they were on stage at a major arena. The artists had a passion for what they did and you could tell as they played their guitar or held that microphone ever so tightly. The guests were greeted with delicious brownies and popcorn. The show lasted from 7pm-10:30PM and the talent never stopped! I was amazed and thankful by the number of performers and audience members. After this experience, it’s clear the ladies of the HER house will definitely have another Open Mic!

– Lili Wondwossen, SAR 2014

Spooky Celebrations

Sunday October 28th, several HER House residents gathered in the kitchen to celebrate the spooky season. Although the smell of baking treats is a constant presence in the House, the warm smells wafting through the kitchen were made all the more appetizing because of the Halloween theme. Rebekah’s meringue ghosts with chocolate chip eyes were a particular favorite. Candies littered the table as the girls took part in the spirit of the season.

Pumpkins were bought and carved for the occasion using an array of miscellaneous spoons and knives that the House has collected over the years. Girls took turns carving their own creative additions to the pumpkins while others, including a costumed Mary Poppins, collected the pumpkin seeds for an oven-baked seasonal treat. Laughing and dancing inevitably ensued as the girls sang along to the appropriately chosen Wicked soundtrack and scraped orange pumpkin guts from their fingers and elbows.

Later in the night, a spooky movie marathon took place in the foyer. After a little debate, it was decided that Alvin and the Chipmunks did somehow count as a Halloween film and a borrowed projector from the university shone the movie in larger than life fashion on the foyer wall. The pumpkins now decorate the front stoop where they nicely compliment the black wrought iron gate. All in all: mission Halloween Celebration was a total success.

– Lillian Miller, COM 2015

Fall Faculty Welcome

On Thursday October 18, the ladies of 191 Bay State Road hosted the annual Fall Faculty Welcome – a huge success. Leading up to the event, residents could be found making cookies, cheesecake, sandwiches and many other yummy treats in our kitchen. On the day of the event, we quickly got the House set-up to host many individuals involved in the University community. Everyone was dressed in her finest clothes as we conversed with each other and members of the larger community. As usual, faculty and mentors were amazed when they walked through the doors to see such a beautiful living space for undergraduate housing.

Fall Faculty Welcome has become of my favorite events during my three years in the House. It is one of the first opportunities in the school year for us to come together as a House and do something for the greater BU community. Yes, it gets hectic, but in typical HER House fashion, there is always someone willing to help you out. As the night came to a close, many of the residents sat in the living room, looking through archived photo albums and Profile Books, absorbing the history of this institution. It is amazing to see how much things have changed over the years, but how so many things stay the same. It continues to be a home, rich in history and tradition, and a community where you can find a helping hand. As a senior, I am sad that I will no longer be a part of Fall Faculty Welcome, but I am excited to know that this tradition will carry on and hope that it continues to be one of the highlights for residents like it has been for me.

– Kristen Keesee, HER House President, CAS 2013


Welcome to the new HER Cooperative House & HERAA website!

We are in the process of further developing and expanding this site by adding in more photos, history of the House and its residents, networking opportunities, recipes from several generations of alumnae and more!

Please check back frequently over the next few months as we will be working toward making this website an important space for current, prospective and past members to keep abreast of House news and updates, reconnect with old housemates and connect with alumnae in a particular region or profession. You can subscribe to receive news updates by email or RSS feed under the “Subscription Options” section of the site.

And as always, if you have questions, concerns, suggestions or any other thoughts to share with us, please contact us or leave a comment!