Ruby Rosenberg, a junior at Boston University, comes home to the Harriet E. Richards-- or HER-- house, the cooperative women's dormitory on BU's campus. The dorm, which has significantly reduced rent, was created in 1928 in part as a home for women who could not otherwise afford a university education.
Erica Moreira (right), a Junior at Boston University, studies and talks to fellow housemate Nikita Limaye in the dining room of the Harriet E. Richards--or HER--house, a women's cooperative residence hall at Boston University.
Nate Ganga, a junior studying archeology, has lived in the HER House for two semesters and enjoys making art and ballroom dancing. "My girlfriend at the time took me to an open house, and as I walked around the house and met everyone I felt like I really vibed with them," she said about how she discovered the HER House. "I walked into the kitchen and saw the 'The most mistreated person in AmeriKKKa is the black woman' sign that was hung up and was like, 'woah, that's cool (and true)'. It seemed like a community of very progressive thinking people."
A poster advocating for the equal treatment of people of all minorities sits inside the Harriet E. Richards--or HER--house, a women's cooperative residence hall at Boston University. In an effort to be more inclusive, residents of the dorm have hosted workshops on microaggressions, racism, and sexism in the hopes that residents can learn from each other's experience and be more careful about how they interact with others.
Erica Moreira, a Junior at Boston University, studies in the dining room of the Harriet E. Richards--HER--house, a women's cooperative residence hall at Boston University.
Berit Guthrie, junior in the Questrom School of Business, originally joined the HER House to ease financial strain, but stayed for the sense of community. "I couldn't afford to live any other place on campus... I promised myself i'd try it for a semester, and if I didn't like it, I could leave," she said. "But coming from a place where there wasn't a lot of racial, ethnic, gender or religious diversity, living with so many other women of different backgrounds has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I didn't understand, and that’s beautiful. There's an incredible support group and community here."
Rachel Poppe, a senior at Boston University, consults the list of late arrivals as she prepares to make dinner for her housemates at the Harriet E. Richards--or HER--house, a women's cooperative residence hall at Boston University. Members of the house share the responsibility of making dinner for all the housemates Sunday through Thursday night as part of the cooperative aspect of the dormitory. They also must share in shopping, cleaning, and other household chores.
Ningyin Zhao and Rachel Poppe, both juniors at Boston University and both members of the Kung Fu team, demonstrate their moves in the HER House kitchen before leaving for practice.
Claire Tran and Nate Ganga, both residents of the Harriet E. Richards cooperative women's dorm at Boston University, watch YouTube videos with their fellow housemates after a shared dinner.
For Ruby Rosenberg, a junior studying film and TV, living in the HER House meant a way to continue her studies at Boston University and meet people in a similar situation to herself. "I think that I would not have been able to afford going to this school for all four years had I not found this house. My parents had gathered up enough savings for my first two years, but by the end of my third semester at BU, I was getting desperate to find something affordable," she said.