This year, like any other, we have experienced the same old story: rising upperclassman forgot to complete their housing contracts and face the prospect of living in a dorm in which they didn’t really want to be. I got the chance this past week to talk to some of the relevant parties in an attempt to evaluate this situation from all angles. With various upperclassmen now placed in Cushing and Whitehouse, it seemed appropriate, now more than ever, to take a trip down memory lane.
Assistant Deans Croom ’10 and Pantele ’13 informed me of the reason for this irregular housing. When students are signing up for housing, those who complete their housing contracts on time are placed first and the rest find themselves in the available spots afterwards. Usually, a few upperclassmen may be spread out across the Carpenter buildings but this year’s upperclassman housing has been extended to Whitehouse and Cushing. And so the question is, what do we think about the new housing situation?
Resident Advisor Andrew Watters ’15 states that he’s quite fine having upperclassmen with him in East House because they can be a good influence on the freshmen and it gives them a better experience in terms of getting to know more than just freshmen in their first few weeks at H-SC. Other RAs have shared the same sentiment and it seems to me that the view is similar to that of the upperclassmen in question. Skyler Whitfield ’15 stated that when he found out he was going to be in North House, he wasn’t looking forward to the arrangement. Now he finds himself liking it very much and has come to appreciate Whitehouse’s location on campus. Another junior, Drew Clark ’15, has told me since our freshman year in Whitehouse that he “would live over there every year if the school allowed it.”
These developments do deserve a follow-up question – if current students are warming up to the idea… what do alumni think about it? Recent graduate Scott Clayton ’13 told me that being an RA in Whitehouse his senior year “would’ve been amazing,” because the location is “perfect for hanging out with the guys.” Also, according to Scott, there’s nothing like “sitting in the colonnade and smoking a cigar after a long day of classes on Friday.” Perhaps, being back in freshman housing wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Ultimately, upperclassmen will generally want to live with upperclassmen. But this initiative to extend housing to freshman dorms doesn’t seem to be the worst thing we’ve done, at least so far. Will H-SC continue this tactic after this year? It’s too early to say, but it’s looking promising.