Host Dorms, Please

Last week, Mihika Sridhar ’16 promoted the idea of day students being given “sleepover buddies” so that they have a place to sleep overnight in case of snowstorms. While I think that Sridhar’s solution is viable, as many day students need a place to stay on campus in emergencies, I would like to further her idea and assign day students a host dorm in order to better integrate them into the community on campus. I propose that, the summer before a day student’s first year at Andover, the administration assign host dorms, keeping in mind the ratio of day students to boarders in each dorm. Throughout the year, day students would be welcome to hang out in their host dorm’s common room, go to dorm munches and actively participate in dorm events like Quad Day. For the next three years, day students would select their dorms similarly to the way boarders do. A possible counterargument for this idea is that dorms are too full and could not accommodate more day students. Day students would only sleep over in the dorms in case of emergency, so the dorms would not have to worry about supplying beds for all day students all the time. To avoid giving house counselors even more students to advise, day students would still be assigned to separate advising groups as they normally are. This idea is not an entirely novel one. I was pleased to see that many Co-Presidential candidates had mentioned better inclusion of day students in their platforms. Many day students miss out on the experience of being part of a dorm community on campus, and, with host dorms, day students could integrate better socially, becoming an integral part of campus life they are usually excluded from. For me, and probably for most day students, having another “home” on campus would really make me feel more connected to the community here.