Stowe Common Room Open to ABB Day Students

For three hours every Saturday, Abbot day students can feel like boarders. The Stowe House common room is now open to Abbot day students from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. every Saturday. Lisa Joel, Cluster Dean of Abbot and House Counselor in Stowe House, said, “It’s a place for people to hang out in between the hours…where day students often feel lost.” While the library closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Underwood Room is not open until 6:30 p.m. Equipped with a kitchenette, a plasma television, a new bathroom and a new foosball table, the Stowe Housecommon room “is not a complement to social activity” but a place where day students can “hang out, talk and play games,” said Joel. “About a year ago, I decided it would be great to connect with Abbot day students,” she said. “This is a place where they can feel comfortable.” Lily Shaffer ’10, an Abbot Cluster Day Student Representative, said, “As a day student, you want some place to go, but there aren’t any places. We want day students to feel more a part of the community, and a lot of the time they can be neglected.” Jay Dolan ’11 said, “I wouldn’t say there is a need for a place for day students to go on campus, but it’s definitely a plus.” For the past two weeks, a sign-in sheet has been placed at the entrance to the common room. Joel said, “I was curious as to who came.” She continued, “The common room is a space we would like to offer for our day students. If it’s four kids or five kids coming, I think it is worth it.” Day students’ opinions vary. Abbot Cluster Day Student Reps Shaffer and Eli Grober ’09 sent out a survey to all the Abbot day students at the beginning of the term in order to gauge the level of interest. According to the survey, 14 out of 26 Abbot day students said they would take advantage of a day student common room and 19 out of 26 suggested hours for access to the common room, ranging from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Day student Megan Farquhar ’09 agreed that there is a need for the common room. She said, “A lot of the time, campus activities are at night, especially after five when the library closes, and there aren’t as many places to go.” But other day students disagreed. Tyler Bond ’10 said, “I probably wouldn’t use it. I’d probably just end up going to a [friend’s] dorm.” William Thompson-Butler ’09, who lives in Stowe House, said, “I think it’s nice that they are giving this option to day students – it’s just weird how all they did was send [the Stowe House residents] an email.” Kyle Rogers ’09, who also lives in Stowe House, said, “I think that it’s a good idea. I don’t have a problem with people in my common room.” Joel said, “We expect the same general common courtesy [as that in Underwood and other public places on campus]. I am aware that it is also the Stowe House boys’ common room.” “We’ll see how [the open common room] works,” said Joel. “I am very open to the suggestions of kids — they should feel free to come by. And I mean, it is their space, not mine. I think the more options you give them, awesome.”