First-Year Roomies Not Best Friends

Rosemary Hanson

Scandal rocked the quiet little community of Lyman House just outside of Anderson Hall last Friday, Sept. 13. At approximately 7:16 p.m. local time, nearby resident assistants received information of a domestic problem in room 216 of the Tower. Initial reports seem to indicate that first-year residents Amanda Norman of Seattle and Lydia Oscar of Portland have not developed the strong bond of friendship experienced by most, if not all, Whitman first-years. Sophomore neighbors Jennifer Stevens of Bellevue and John Delainie of Seattle tell our reporters that they knew something was wrong as far back as the ’80s Dance.

“While the other roommate pairs were picking out neon tights and scrunchies together, Amanda and Lydia were not even in Lyman,” said Jennifer as she and John stood in the hallway late last night, nervously waiting as resident assistants attempted to mediate the situation between the two girls. “John said that he thought it was a little odd, but we just assumed they were pre-gaming together in Jewett Hall. It never occurred to us that they would be in separate places!”

In fact, reports from other residents claim the girls did not go to any of the initial first-year activities together –– not even Salsa Magic or the “Alcohol Talk,” despite having plenty of time to get to know each other over the course of orientation week. When we called the Residence Life Office (or “Res Life” as it is colloquially known), a spokesperson for the agency told us that, even though such a thing is nearly unheard of, it is still too early to tell if Amanda and Lydia are truly not friends. However, due to the gravity of the situation, they are taking every step possible to investigate, and if these reports are indeed true, to try to bond the two girls.

We could not reach either of the girls’ families for comment, though an uncorroborated report from Lydia’s high school friend claimed that Lydia once described Amanda as “nice enough,” though she may have gone on to say that they had no common interests. More on this story as it develops.

Regardless, the sleepy, little community of Lyman House and Whitman College as a whole are still reeling from this unexpected tragedy. It may be weeks before we know the true extent of the damage, and so residents are simply forced to wait and see. For community members who are interested in helping, Res Life is taking donations and suggestions for team-building exercises outside of Memorial Hall from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. this Friday, where local indie band Charcoal Teapots will be playing a benefit concert open to the public.