Starting Fall 2023, Stimson House, an upperclassmen girls dorm in Pine Knoll Cluster, will become an upperclassmen boys dorm. This decision came out in a housing information email sent on April 14 and leaves the rising Senior girls of Stimson to either stack in Morton, Carriage, or Pease, or be placed into another upperclassmen girls dorm.
Alli Booth, Instructor of History and Social Science, and Stimson House Counselor, spoke on how Stimson was asked last year to switch to a boys dorm after she moved into the dorm last August. Booth noted that Stimson housing boys instead of girls. The change provides more opportunities for upperclassmen girls to stack together, compared to previous years where there were more upperclassmen girls dorms.
“[We were asked to switch last year] for the same reason they asked us this year, which was that there were just more big upperclassmen girls dorms than boys dorms. What the switch essentially allows for is more girls stacks to be assigned, and without the switch it would’ve been another year where girls weren’t receiving the same number of stacks as boys, and that felt inequitable. So while it’s certainly a big change in certain regards, if it’s for the better of the overall community I think it’s a positive thing,” said Booth.
Booth continued by looking forward to welcoming a new community into the dorm in the fall. However, Booth also highlighted that there may be an increase in late-night antics with boys living in the dorm, but overall, she is not worried about the impact on the dorm.
“In my experience, dorms are different from year to year regardless. Depending on who the residents are, the chemistry of the people who are there can really affect the way that the community gets along. I’m excited to see who’s going to end up in our building, looking forward to seeing who our proctors are. What I’m worried about the most [could be] lots of late-night gaming. From where I’m sitting, that’s going to be a big difference, but I could be totally wrong,” said Booth.
Michelle Fang ’24 spoke on how the decision felt that the switch of Stimson into a boy’s dorm may dismantle the strong community spirit between the Upper girls in the dorm over this year. Fang wished the email had come earlier as that would have affected Fang’s preferences in housing.
“I mean it was a little disappointing because I know we’re gonna be put into a different dorm, like Bancroft or Adams, and I feel like during this year we sort of formed our own friend group in Stimson. [So], it’s going to be a little bit awkward to just get put in a different dorm. I wish they had told us a little bit earlier because me and my friend were thinking about stacking, but we thought we could just fall back and be in Stimson next year,” said Fang.
On the other hand, Ava Murphy ’24 commented on her excitement to be placed in another dorm next year, saying that while she likes the house counselors and the people, she did not like the facilities. However, Murphy shared Fang’s perspective on how she felt that the decision left the Upper girls feeling quickly displaced.
“I was actually really excited because I was kind of in a pickle of trying to move out or if I should just suck it up and just stay, because it’s hard to move out as an Upper if you’re not stacking, and I was not planning on stacking. I wish that they told us a little bit earlier, because I feel like it was really abrupt, and now I feel a little displaced, but I’m working with Dean [Jill] Meyer and she’s helping me a lot, so that’s really nice,” said Murphy.
Murphy continued by noting how the change will create a different dynamic within Stimson and the greater Pine Knoll neighborhood, as upperclassmen boys replace upperclassmen girls.
“It’s going to be a weird adjustment, [but] from what I’ve heard it was a boys dorm before, many years ago. I just think it’s going to be very different [dynamic in Stimson] because in that back part of the Knoll, it’s girl dorm, boy dorm, girl dorm. It goes Stimson, Fuess [House], [Nathan] Hale [House]. I think, especially because it’s upperclassmen boys, it’s going to change the dynamic of the neighbourhood a little bit, but I don’t think it’ll be too dramatic,” said Murphy.