A Small Review on Swarthmore’s Smallest Dorm

Apparently, one of Swarthmore’s solutions to the residential overcrowding crisis was to put nine people into Kyle House, a dorm that has been offline for two and a half years due to the construction of Singer Hall. It also does not have a profile on Swarthmore’s residence hall page. So, as one of the nine people currently living in Kyle, I chose to write this article to at least give my dorm a basic outline.

The Basics:

Kyle, as stated in the title, is currently Swarthmore’s smallest dorm (with only three singles and three doubles) and is open to female-identifying students. It was recently renovated (read: given new furniture) in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year. Located beside the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Kyle is one of two dorms on the north side of campus (the other being Woolman), giving it a sort of off-campus feel while also being close to places such as Singer Hall and the Science Center.

Pros:

  • It’s quiet. In Kyle, you do not really hear the sounds of the bell tower, nor do you hear the chaos of parties from the more social spaces on campus. This makes Kyle an ideal space for napping, reading, studying, and, according to my roommate, recording.
  • It’s close to the academic spaces on campus. Unlike dorms such as PPR, you can easily wake up ten minutes before class and arrive on time, making it perfect for people who don’t like walking. As an added bonus, it is right by Singer Hall, the newest building on campus, making its location ideal for snagging a study room or going to Singer commons.
  • The kitchen comes with a microwave, oven, and dishwasher, which makes it ideal for people who love to bake. The kitchen itself is also a great spot for socialization between Kyle residents, as some use it regularly to make their own meals or treats.
  • There are porches in the front and back, which are ideal study spots on a nice day. The front porch is especially nice, with one part having recently acquired screens to protect from Swarthmore mosquitoes and the dreaded lanternflies.

Cons:

  • The room size varies widely, especially on the first floor (which is supposed to have a single and a double according to the floor plan, but now has two doubles due to the housing crisis). My room, which was originally a double, has enough space for two wardrobes, beds, and desks, plus an extra mattress for sleepovers. On the other hand, my friend’s room, which was originally a single but has been converted to a double, barely has enough space for two beds and bookshelves.
  • Kyle is far from Sharples. Not that Sharples food is that great, but it increases reliance on Dining Dollars and Swat Points for food, seeing that the Science Center is the closest food place. Your Dining Dollars will run out faster than anticipated.
  • The dorm does not have a printer or a water fountain. Those are in Woolman, which is even further away from campus. And frankly, none of the Kyle residents want to walk to Woolman despite it being a short distance away.

So, if you want a dorm that is not too secluded while also being a great study space both indoors and outdoors (and if you identify as a female), then maybe you should select Kyle in next year’s housing lottery. After all, when all is said and done, Kyle House is one of the coziest dorms that Swarthmore has to offer.

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