Stack Decisions Released to Rising Uppers and Seniors

In an email sent out on April 15 by Susan Esty, Dean of Students and Residential Life, rising Uppers were notified of their stack decision results.

Dorm stacks refer to a housing option for rising Uppers and Seniors where students can choose to live alongside friends of their choosing in a variety of smaller dorms across campus. Annually, stack applications are sent out, where students are invited to form a group to tour available stacks, meet with their respective House Counselors, and ultimately submit application packets for available stacks.

Stacks range from groups of four up to 15 or greater students, all of which must agree to be part of the application process. Ashley Park ’24, a rising Senior who was selected to stack in Pemberton during the 2023-2024 academic year, shared her thoughts on what factored into her decision to stack.

“When we were looking at stacks, we wanted to make sure we’d look at a dorm that was really meaningful for us and also a place that we would want to live [in] our Senior year. We toured the available stacks, we went to Pemberton, and we also toured Whitney, which is in Abbott. So those were our top two choices because we had about nine to ten people on board for stacking applications. We also factored in like location of the dorm, the size of the dorm, and then how many rooms the dorm had, whether we’d end up with a roommate or no roommate, and a lot of other things,” said Park in an interview with The Phillipian

Successful stack applicants also had the opportunity to meet their future House Counselors and speak with them prior to moving into their dorms. Gui Lima ’24, a prefect in Rockwell House who was accepted to stack in Andover Cottage, expressed how he enjoyed meeting his future House Counselor. According to Lima, getting the experience of speaking with his future House Counselor was a positive aspect of the application process.

“She’s super nice. Every time I’ve seen her in the past, [Congming Zhao, Instructor and Chair in Chinese], she’s been amazing. She remembered my name every time I walked past her, which is she’s pretty cool. I’m really excited to get to move into [Andover Cottage] and being in a stack with my friends and people I know,” said Lima.

The stack applications process is slightly different each year, set out by the Dean’s team in an email. According to the Dean of Students Office, prospective students must attend an open-house tour of a stack at times posted by a House Counselor, elect a Stack Captain to manage the application process and meet with their Cluster Dean and submit an application to be reviewed by their Cluster Dean and House Counselors. Park explained more about the role of the Stack Captain, and how the overall application process felt from her perspective.

“For each stack, someone is designated as the Stack Captain. So they usually just get in contact with the Deans and make sure that they apply with all the students that want to get into the stack. So the Captain for our group was Amanda Chiang [’24], and she did most of the work for us. She went to the interest meetings, and she made sure that all of us signed the contract for the stack. Along the way, though, she kept us informed and made sure that everyone was on board, and feeling 100 percent confident and about the stack with us,” said Park.

Ellie Sun ’25 recently was accepted into Flag, a stack in Abbot. Sun expressed how she enjoyed the ability to tour stacks and get more informed about the similarities and differences between them prior to having to submit her application. She added that coming from a larger dorm, she was particularly interested in the experience that smaller stacks could bring.

“I really enjoyed touring the other dorms. I thought it was very interesting to see because I live in a very big dorm. I live in Nathan Hale right now, and going from Nathan Hale to a very small dorm with just a few friends –– I feel like that’s going to be a really big change. It was just really fun to be able to imagine living together,” said Sun.