Student Life

CMES is a very welcoming and collaborative environment. The distinguished faculty and unmatched resources of Harvard University provide an intellectual environment in which students can focus on the most compelling challenges of their chosen discipline. CMES is also a cultural melting pot, attracting faculty, students, associates, and visiting scholars from all over the world to teach, study and carry out research. The Center offers many seminars, lectures, workshops, and exhibits, as well as opportunities to meet informally with fellow students and faculty for quiet study, and social activities.

The Harvard Middle Eastern Cultural Association (HMECA)

HMECA, run by CMES graduate students with the participation of undergraduates, is at the center of AM and PhD student life at CMES. It seeks to foster a sense of the diversity of Middle Eastern culture, and to promote academic exchange and mutual understanding between people from the Middle East and the Harvard Community. HMECA organizes social events, Middle East language lectures, a film series, and other activities. HMECA can be a wonderful extension of your social, academic and professional life at Harvard. For information, please email the 2019-2020 HMECA presidency Badriyyah Alsabah and Thomas Harris.

Harvard Student Organizations

Harvard students have access to a wide variety of student-led organizations in which to participate. For a full list of student groups, or to start your own, see the GSAS list of recognized student organizations.

Dudley House

Dudley House became the official graduate student center in the fall of 1991. Dudley House is located in Lehman Hall in the southwest corner of Harvard Yard (across from the Out-of-Town Newsstand). All GSAS students are automatically members of Dudley and are encouraged to use its facilities. The house includes a dining hall (which serves meal on a cash or contract basis), game room, library, reading room, computer and print facilities, lockers, pianos, bulletin boards, meeting and office space for student organizations, the Café Gato Rojo and the Graduate Student Council office and lounge. The lounges on the third floor are extremely comfortable, and provide magazines and games. The House provides an opportunity for GSAS students to interact with fellow graduate students and faculty from all departments in an informal atmosphere. Events include student-faculty dinners, language tables, after-dinner speakers, dances, jazz concerts, subsidized outings to the Red Sox, and ski trips.

Students may participate in intramural athletics, a chamber orchestra and chorus, a folk music ensemble, a jazz band, and public service activities sponsored by the house. Dudley House is a congenial place for GSAS students to create a sense of community. The co-masters, house administrators, a student staff of Dudley fellows, and a representative House Committee coordinate and facilitate the activities and services of the House. Dudley fellows are charged with organizing many of the activities, and full-time fellows are paid and receive meals in the dining hall. Initiative in planning and implementing programs and activities from other students is also welcomed.

Student Services and the GSAS Office of Housing

In the basement of Dudley House you will find the GSAS Office of Housing and Student Services. Jackie Yun, Director of Student Services, is the primary resource for all GSAS students about any academic or personal concerns (Tel: 617-495-5005). She serves in an advisory role and provides support and information about counseling and other services for GSAS students. In serving as an advocate for students and providing support, her role is similar to that of an ombudsperson. She also supervises the Resident Advisors, one of whom resides on each floor of the GSAS Residence Halls.

The Housing Office coordinates GSAS Residence Hall assignments and keeps listings for off-campus apartments and other graduate students looking for roommates.

Cafes on Campus

The Café Gato Rojo is located in the basement of Dudley House. This student-run café is an excellent place to read, meet with friends, catch up on work, or attend the occasional poetry reading and ‘open-mic night’. The café serves a variety of coffees, teas and patisserie, and is a great place to relax. Check the Dudley House website for opening hours. Other on-campus eateries include the Knafel Commons in CGIS, Chauhaus in the Graduate School of Design, and the Science Center Greenhouse Café.

Outside Harvard

Boston is a vibrant, thriving city is renowned for its cultural facilities, world-class educational institutions, champion sports franchises, as well as its place at the very forefront of American history and severe winter weather!