‘IncestFest’ Party At Harvard Sparks Backlash

Tara Dodrill - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 6:48 p.m. ET

IncestFest at Harvard University’s Kirkland House is drawing a plethora of criticism. The party theme was reportedly designed to encourage residence hall occupants to hook-up with as many people as possible. Wild parties on college campuses are not a new trend, but the provocative title of the dance is considered inappropriate, sad, and in very poor taste by many.

The Harvard party is hosted by and for residents of the Kirkland House undergraduate hall, according to College Fix. Attendees reportedly hook up with people they live close to, hence the theme party’s name.

The Crimson student newspaper had this to say about IncestFest:

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“You’ll spend all of Secret Santa week watching underclad men gyrating in the dining hall and figuring out who you’ll hook up with at IncestFest. House life is incredibly close-knit, bordering on downright incestuous.”

Kirkland House resident, Samantha Berstler, wrote this about the controversial theme party:

“I am not only objecting to the name IncestFest because it is offensive and insensitive, although, indeed, it is, and it saddens me that this is not immediately obvious. I am writing this because incest is notoriously invisible and leaves its victims burdened with shame and humiliation for the rest of their lives.”

Supporters of the Harvard theme party feel that too much is being made of the gathering’s title and consider the event nothing more than a winter formal, according to the New York Daily News. Kirkland House is reportedly known for being a very tight-knit community on campus. Students living in the residence hall allegedly date one another frequently, hence the “dormcest” nickname often used when referring to the annual dance.


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