Dorm Sweet Dorm
BY LYNETTE LAMB | PHOTOS BY SHER STONEMAN
Residential hall life has changed quite a bit since the days when all dorms were single gender and the girls had curfews.
Although Macalester students still trod the dignified marble stairs of Wallace and gaze at the groovy slanted ceilings of the Stadium, they decorate differently and equip their rooms with a dazzling array of electronics. They also have options—such as Veggie Co-op, Eco House, and apartment-style living—that students didn’t enjoy back in the day.
Although juniors and seniors are free to live off campus, today’s students aren’t as eager to do that as they once were, says Residential Life operations manager Kathy McEathron. In fact, after last year’s room draw, there was still a waiting list of students wanting dorm space, due only in part to the extra big Class of 2013. Another change McEathron has seen in her decade at Mac: Fewer students seek singles, despite the fact that the college has more of these to offer than most schools, with 88 in Dupre alone.
It would be impossible to show the range of living situations that Mac kids have to choose among, but we decided to picture a few possibilities here, including one of Mac’s five language houses and an apartment-style option.
Macalester students show and tell us what makes their dorm rooms great. These were selected among the many fabulous rooms for their uniqueness, creativity and energy.
Hannah Van Den Brandt ’13 (above, Madison, Wis.) and roommate Camille Cauchois ’13 (left, Oakland, Calif.) are thrilled to live in 207 Wallace, one of Mac’s few bay-windowed rooms. Wallace Hall is a century-old building with high ceilings and wood floors. “We call it our apartment on Summit Avenue,” Hannah says. “We went for the homey look rather than the dorm room look.” The two, who met as first-year students in Turck Hall, appreciate Wallace’s character and its sense of history. “It’s fun to think about how many people have lived in your room and walked the hallways before you,” says Camille.
Living spaces need themes, decided roommates Sophie Schwadron ’13 (left, Silver Spring, Md.) and Ariel Sehr ’13 (Evanston, Ill.), so they spent much of last summer contemplating theirs, exchanging emails while Sophie was at home and Ariel working at a camp. After much negotiating, they arrived at an underwater world theme for 273 Bigelow, which they have truly embraced, with fish decals, a plastic octopus mascot, even Aquafresh toothpaste. “We both have a habit of getting too excited about everything and being too crafty—just look at the supplies under our bed!” says Ariel. Asked if their decorating was complete, Sophie says, “It’s a process and we’re never done.”