First-year rooms become a home away from home for most Whitman students––a chance to redecorate and create lifelong friendships. Though most Whitties only live in a particular room on campus for one year or less, unforgettable memories are created. The Circuit tracked down students who lived in one specific room at one point in time in all of the first-year dorms and documented their favorite moments from the experience. While some students have transferred out of Whitman or are currently studying off campus, their memories in the room live on.
Anderson Hall D104
Al-Rahim Merali and Ethan Robertson, Class of 2013
“Ethan and I were really close, and we still are. I live with him now and consider him my best friend,” Merali said.
“We spent a lot of nights staying up until three in the morning, having heart-to-heart talks, watching YouTube videos, playing games on the Internet,” Merali said.
“We had a punching bag that we hung from the ceiling, which, looking back, probably wasn’t the best idea,” Merali said.
“Our room was right next to the door coming into Anderson, so we always got to say hi or bye to people. We also had to let people in who had forgotten their swipe,” Merali said.
Colleen Bell, Class of 2014
Claire Arnold and Allison Eggert, Class of 2016
“Claire is from Minnesota and I’m originally from Minnesota, so we had an instant connection. But it wasn’t until the first week where I finally thought, ‘You’re my best friend!'” Eggert said.
“Every night before we go to bed we spend at least an hour talking to each other,” Arnold said.
“Anderson is the good halfway point for us: It’s not too loud like it can get in Jewett [Hall], but it’s also not too quiet like it is in Lyman [Hall],” Arnold said.
“Our room is actually normally clean. We’re known for having a clean room. It’s usually known as the hangout place because we keep it pretty clean and it usually smells like cake in here,” Eggert said.
“We’ve had multiple sleepovers, where we shove the beds together and cram as many girls in together as we can,” Eggert said.
“We’ve had a lot of fun decorating. We go on Pinterest for decorating ideas. That’s why there are a lot of paper decorations everywhere,” Eggert said.
“We’ve had weird days, like workout days listening to Christmas music,” Eggert said.
Jewett Hall 406:
Heather Domonoske and Shannon McCarty, Class of 2013:
“Shannon and I really liked the couch beds; I think it really changes the feel of the room. We always had our beds in during the day so people always came in to sit down and talk with us,” Domonoske said.
“Shannon and I were great roommates; she’s honestly one of my closest friends at Whitman. We’re housemates now,” Domonoske said.
“We had stuffed animals. I had a Pooh Bear and Shannon had a panda stuffed animal, so a lot of guys in our section, especially the guys who lived across the hall from us, would just come take naps on our bed with our stuffed animals,” Domonoske said.
“Both of us spent a lot of time in our [room]. We didn’t like going to the library. I wouldn’t say we had a ‘party room,’ just a more social room in terms of people knew we would always be there,” Domonoske said.
Chase Martin, Class of 2014
“I loved living in my section; there was always a pack of people from the fourth floor going to dinner. It was like having a group of 15 friends to do things with,” Martin said.
“Jewett does have its downsides––like, there was virtually no privacy from your roommate––but as soon as you close[d] the door to your room, it was like having your own private space. It was almost good that the room was kind of small. It was kind of cozy,” Martin said.
“It’s almost good that Jewett can be pretty crowded, because I always knew that there would be someone around to go talk to. It was rare that you would walk through the hallway and there would be no open door,” Martin said.
Lydia Kautsky, Class of 2015
“I’m still pretty close friends with my section. My section was co-ed and there were two guys living on either side of me, and in that way made me closer to my roommate but at the same time diversified the people I knew and talked with,” Kautsky said.
“Jewett is pretty loud, which isn’t always appreciated. But it was a really great experience. It was the best place to live freshman year,” Kautsky said.
“Jewett has a lot of storage. People always make fun of people in Jewett for saying that, but it’s true. I live in a single now and I don’t have as much storage as I had in my double in Jewett,” Kautsky said.
Quinn Gordon & Emma Thompson, Class of 2016
“When I had been a [prospective student] last year, I had stayed in this room, so it was really exciting to know exactly what my room looked like before I left for school,” Thompson said.
“We tend to keep our beds pulled out. Sometimes we push them in if people come in,” Thompson said.
“Quinn and I get along really well when we’re together and in section,” Thompson said.
Prentiss Hall 221:
Cari Cortez, Class of 2013:
“My roommate and I are swimmers, so sometimes we would have other swimmers over to hang out,” Cortez said.
“It was nice that she was a swimmer too because we would both wake up and go to bed early together,” Cortez said.
“My section loved baking, so we always had baked goods going down the hall,” Cortez said.
Stefanie Barrera, Class of 2014
“I had the inner room, so I really liked having a tree right outside of my window towards the end of the school year. It was nice to be able to see the change in seasons,” Barrera said.
“I had 8 a.m. [classes] so I woke up pretty early a lot, but I tend to be a night owl,” Barrera said.
“Reynolds didn’t use the section lounge very much my year, so we hung out at other peoples’ rooms,” Barrera said.
“There was one time, where I was pulling up the blinds, and I pulled the string pretty quickly, and there was a plant on my windowsill so the leaves got caught in the blinds and pulled the plant straight up,” Barrera said.
Anu Lingappa, Class of 2015
“My roommate made a bunch of cake balls once and she left them sitting on her desk with the window open, and when we came back to our room, we looked at her cake balls and the saran wrap had been ripped open and six of the balls had been [eaten] through. There was a giant hole in the screen––a squirrel had eaten its way through the screen!” Lingappa said.
“We didn’t know if the squirrel had left or was still in our room, so we had to go through and pick up every single piece of clothing off of the floor to look for the squirrel,” Lingappa said.
“My room was pretty messy, but after our squirrel incident I kept it a lot cleaner, since the thought that I may have missed something and would find a rotten squirrel was kind of terrifying,” Lingappa said.
Amy Ishida and Phuong Le, Class of 2016
“We cleaned up our room a bit since it’s the weekend. During the week it looks nothing like this,” Le said.
“I sometimes can’t see my floor,” Ishida said.
“We’re normally early morning risers. I wake up at seven in the morning,” Ishida said.
“I don’t study in my room very much. Usually I occupy the library every night except Friday. I just work better there,” Le said.
“Our room isn’t really a social room. The common room is so close to us, so most people go there to talk and hang out,” Le said.
Lyman Hall A 105:
Vy Cao-Nguyen, Class of 2013
“I really liked living right next to the [Resident Director] and the bathrooms. One of my favorite memories freshman year was playing Humans vs. Zombies with our RD,” Cao-Nguyen said.
“I didn’t like how the hallways were really long and narrow. It seemed kind of isolating at times,” Cao-Nguyen said.
“In the pictures I took my freshman year, it was really clean. But that’s totally not true for my room now. I think I kept my room freshman year so clean because I was far away from home and cleaning made me feel better; at least I knew I could control that,” Cao-Nguyen said.
“There was an odd Lyman dorm smell … But now when I come back to visit, I think, ‘Aw, it’s the Lyman dorm smell, I miss it,'” Cao-Nguyen said.
Nick Davies and Aleks Maricq, Class of 2014
“I loved my room, especially since Aleks and I split the rooms. He had his own space, I had mine,” Davies said.
“I kept my room pretty clean. I never actually saw Aleks’ room very much since I had the front room,” Davies said.
“Our room was right next to the exit, so I always got to see people leaving. I got to say goodbye to people, ask them how they were doing. It was great,” Davies said.
“Lyman has had the tradition where people from previous years hide stuff in the ceilings. We found a basket that had been signed by the previous inhabitants and the inhabitants before. We also found a rubber duck and a badminton birdie,” Maricq said.
“I hid a couple of packets of awful root-beer-flavored mints that Nick had gotten, and a couple of actually nicer things,” Maricq said.
Franny Gardner & Allison Work, Class of 2015
“Lyman is a pretty happy place, everyone was really friendly our year,” Gardner said.
“We split our room, so one of us had the back room, the other the front. It was a good setup because I got to see Franny every day, but I also had my privacy,” Work said.
“It was really convenient for us to have the Lyman Dining Hall down the hall. It was great to not have to go outside, and just run in in our pajamas,” Gardner said.
“I was a bit of a vacuuming fanatic. I kept it super clean. Franny probably thought I was pretty crazy,” Work said.
Hannah Frankel, Class of 2015
“When Kelly and I first moved in, we checked our ceilings and I found a box of condoms hidden in mine from the previous resident,” Frankel said.
“I really like the split rooms. It offers a nice amount of privacy, while still very much maintaining the roommate feel. I tend to like having my door open or [to] hang out in the main lounge to do my homework, and Kelly and I have very different schedules, so it works out really well to have the separate rooms,” Frankel said.
“Kelly and I just have a lot of fun together––covering our door in wrapping paper, decorating each others’ rooms for our birthdays; we didn’t really know each other before we moved in together, and it’s been a fantastic combination,” Frankel said.
North Hall 245:
Bailey Richards, Class of 2014
“I wasn’t expecting to get a single room when I first came [to Whitman]. It was a bit of a shocker because I wanted a roommate, but I realized it was really nice to study on my own, like a little retreat from everything,” Richards said.
“My section had a really great group of social and dynamic people, so that made my rooming experience a lot better, because living in a single felt better when everyone was going into each others’ rooms and hanging out,” Richards said.
“Sometimes people think North is haunted since it was an old hospital, but there was only really one creepy moment for me there. My soap bottle was full one minute, and then it was empty the next morning, and there was no leak in it, so I have no idea what was going on there,” Richards said.
J.C. Brewer, Class of 2015
“Living in a single was really nice; it was like I had my own space. I also had my own bathroom, so it was nice,” Brewer said.
“It never really got lonely in my section because the people in my hall … were really close friends,” Brewer said.
“I had a bike most of the time to get to class, but even when I did walk, it didn’t ever really feel that far,” Brewer said.
Olivia Kinney, Class of 2016