Home Sweet Dorm

Milestone anniversaries for West and South

THE COLLEGE OPENED IN 1957 WITH ONLY ONE building of its own—a residence hall (Mildred E. Mudd Hall, aka East). This year, West (60 years) and South (50) celebrate their milestone anniversaries. To mark the occasions, we thought we’d check in with current leaders of each dorm to learn a bit about today’s dorm culture.

West Dorm under construction.
West Dorm under construction

Blake Larkin ’19, West Dorm co-president

What’s new?

“As presidents, we are constantly working to make West a more inclusive and friendly place in any way we can. We also have a currently thriving lemon tree that we hope will only keep growing! And, a few years ago, we redid our lounge, and, sadly, in the process, the top of the giant Barmaggedon was destroyed by rain.

“The big news around West this year is the return of fire to the dorm. For the last few years, all HMC dorms were barred (due to drought and other factors) from having fires, which had been a part of West culture. Since the end of last year, however, West has again been able to have fires as events. Most weekends we send someone down to the local fire department to get a permit and then have a bonfire into the night! For many, it’s a great way to relax and hang out with the rest of the dorm family.”

West dorm residents, 1973

What traditions remain?

“While many traditions have been changed for one reason or another, we follow what we can! These traditions include the wet-season countdown, broomball, lemon run and TQ day.”

Legacy suites

“I believe our legacy suites are mostly all long-timers, and we have done whatever we can to hold on to them. They include: Heaven, Hell, Valhalla, Purgatory, Atomic and Subatomic. People also continue to name new suites in hopes that they continue on after them as a legacy suite: Dudeism (next to Atomic) being the newest contender that I know of.”

West Dorm today
West Dorm today

Typical music selection?

“As a member of Subatomic, we like to think our music selection is constantly shifting to a more positive selection. The variety of music we play has, we believe, grown to be more diverse and less biased than previous years (here’s looking at you Animal Collective). Currently, we mainly play rap, hip-hop and various electronic music. For more statistics on our music selection check out our last.fm.”

Samantha Andow ’18, South Dorm co-president

South dorm today.
South Dorm today

What’s new?

“The South kitchen got remodeled this past summer! We’re very excited that it gives us more counter space, new appliances and French doors between the kitchen and the lounge. Additionally, we used ASHMC’s long-term funds to get a stand mixer so people can cook and bake a wider variety of goodies. We are in the process of remaking the set of chess pieces that live in the courtyard.”

What traditions remain?

“We aren’t certain how old most of our traditions are, but we still have/do

Legacy Suites

“Baja (27 years old) and Blitz/Anti-Proctor (3 years old; across the courtyard from proctor suite).”

Typical music selection

“We only have one speakers suite, so whatever he wants. Typically, it’s quiet, chill music.”

After and before photos of the South Dorm kitchen.