Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The housing lottery is rushing towards us. Swarthmore students can only live in a handful of our many dorms, however, and it can be hard to pick. To help you make a decision, Gazette reporters tracked down inhabitants of many dorms on campus to get an insider’s view of what these dorms are like.
Gazette reporters will be following up on many other dorms tomorrow night.
Joel Swanson ’10, a resident of Dana’s basement described the dorm as “relatively quiet, but the basement lounge could get extremely loud at nights or on weekends.”
Elizabeth Hipple ’10, a member of Dana 3rd, reported that “the only good things about living in Dana are the spacious rooms and that it’s very quiet. Other than that, there are Danabugs, clogged toilets, and ugly architecture. The freshmen are very close, but there isn’t much interaction with the upperclassmen.” Tiffany Liao ’10, a hall-mate of Elizabeth, seemed to concur. “The bathroom toilets are ALWAYS getting clogged,” she explained.
Dana 2nd resident Keith Blaha ’10 “Dana has just been amazing, the dorm is quiet when you need it to be and loud and fun when you want it to be. The rooms are spectacular and large…The freshman and upper classmen interactions have been awesome, I’ve made some sophomore and junior and senior friends, so it is a good mix.”
Melissa Cruz ’10, another Dana-basement resident, explained that “On the whole, I think Dana can be very ‘clique-y.’ I think it mainly depends on which floor you’re on, as well as class year…Although there’s only one TV and one kitchen in the whole dorm, it brings a sense of community to the building.”
Rob McKeon ’07, the RA of Dana’s first floor, gave a different perspective: “I would say that it’s a quieter dorm, partially due to its location and the lack of a courtyard and large lounges. I really like the view of the woods from the windows of “outside” rooms.”
Bevan Gerber-Siff ’10 gave a nuanced view of Hallowell: “The bathrooms suck. One of showers has had a clogged drain for the whole semester. The walls are bland and hard to attach things to. I like having a gigantic room, though, and a window seat. I kinda enjoy how the halls create little microcosm groups but impedes many hall sports, such as soccer.” Eric Holzhauer ’10 concurred “I enjoy living in Hallowell. I have an outside double so it is fairly spacious and has a big bay window with a view of the Crum.”
“I like it in Worth; a bunch of my friends live there, so it’s fun. Also, I only have to share a bathroom with three other people, which is cool.” Ishita Kharode ’08
“It’s different from most other dorms because there’s actually no hall life, except with the people you share your floor with. I like it; it’s almost like having an apartment.” Alicia de los Reyes ’08
“It’s very peaceful. The only night that it is really loud is Tuesday night because of Ice Tuesday. It could get loud in the day because there are BBQs. Rooms are big. Population is friendly. People turn the lights off. There is, however, a lack of hall life. At most, people hang out in the RAs room, but that might be an anomaly for this year.” Dominic Hum ’07
Jesse Gottschalk ’09 told our reporters that “I very much like living in Lodges… It’s a different way of living with other people than in the dorms. The biggest drawback is you don’t have people you haven’t met before but instead it’s a very close kind of living. There’s a lounge and kitchen that you all share together. You’re living with people that you know and know well… It’s really cozy!”
Greg Albright ’10, from Parrish 4th west, said with his tongue in cheek that “nothing you want is here [in Parrish]. We are not located directly in the middle of campus, a mere two-and-a-half minute walk from everything. We do not have nice doubles (not even the corner one with two windows) or decent sized upperclassmen singles. None of that here. And hall life…well, if you like the idea of a generally quiet hall that knows when to lay the work aside and throw a raucous study break, then maybe you’ll like Parrish, but really, what are the advantages of that? Also, the view is really distracting when you’re trying to work.”
While Erik Smith ’10, another resident of Parrish 4th west, said “Parrish has a very strong freshmen community. Social life on our hall may be tame compared to other dorms, but because our halls are wide enough to house furniture, we do end up spending a lot of time out in the hall,” he also cautioned that “This past semester, we’ve had a hard time getting hot water in our showers and sinks. Sometimes we’d get in the shower stall and stand there for 10 minutes before the water got warm. Occasionally, it wouldn’t get warm at all; you’d have to step out the shower, unwashed, and try again later in the day.”
Gary Herzberg ’10 outlined his feelings about the dorm, saying “Parrish is definitely social, and without that alcohol bond. It’s pretty quiet, the showers are decent, and obviously has a great location on campus.”
Kyle House (formerly Whittier Place) is a small house on the edge of campus for women only. Meredith Leich ’08, a current resident, says that the rooms are “as big as you’ll find anywhere” and the kitchen is “definitely the best part,” including a large pantry and big windows. The main drawback is the noise, due to questionable sound insulation, though “most residents are quiet.” What kind of person would enjoy Kyle? “Someone who respects communal life but would like to be somewhat separate from campus,” Leich concludes.
More dorms will be examined tomorrow!