Despite residence halls being closed to students this fall, Jewett Hall has in many ways remained resilient in its vacancy. The shower fungus is still lying dormant, waiting for wet student feet to return. The section fridges still have someones’ old leftovers and ice cream waiting to be stolen. The shavings of your bearded section-mate remain scattered all over the sinks, rhe drunken Saturday night yells still echo through the stairwells and there’s still never anyone in the study lounges.
However, a recent Wire investigation into the res hall found that in the past month, 60% of its 170-resident capacity became filled. Who’s now living in Jewett Hall? Director of Residence Life and Housing Cameron Fink tells all:
“Whitman is really strapped for cash right now, and while we wouldn’t stand to degrade our prime residence halls – Prentiss, Stanton, or Lyman – we realized that Jewett doesn’t really have much left to live for. We have decided to Airbnb the res hall.”
A sprawling new cast of characters now turn their couches into beds every night before going to sleep. Some are just wine tourists, looking to return from tastings and hang out drunk in a college setting like the good old days. Yet, the far majority of occupants are long term renters from the class of 2020, postponing their post-graduate lives until the pandemic ends.
One recent graduate reclined wistfully in the corner of the main lounge, wrapped in a wool blanket, sipping whiskey from his mug. Staring out the window, he murmured decrepitly, “I’m just waiting out the storm with Father’s trust fund, maybe just a couple more years before I enter the outside world again.”
To the administration’s surprise, the Airbnb tenants have also formed an unlikely community within their walls. The inhabitants have reopened Jewett Cafe, in order to be more self-contained. They work for and buy from each other while subsisting on eight dollar chocolate bars, psychedelic house music and tomato soup. Every night they gather in the main lounge to pray for the prosperity of Jewett Airbnb. Finally, they conclude by declaring allegiance to the hall for the remainder of these end-of-days times.
Cameron is optimistic, “We may continue this model indefinitely. They’ve developed a great community and we are making bank. Besides, what student really wants to live in Jewett anyways?”