The Artichoke: Administration under fire for housing first-years in closets
A satirical take on all things Wellesley
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 18:09
Wellesley College authorities, under considerable pressure from both students and the public, finally opened up on Monday about housing incoming students in Lulu Chow Wang Student Center closets.
“The Admissions Office was jacked up on too much caffeine last spring, and we accidentally let too many students in again,” admitted Pauline Pail, manager of the Admissions Office. Unconfirmed rumors indicate that Pail may be stepping down before the end of the year.
Deborah Doe, the head of the Housing and Transportation Office, defended her actions in an official statement released last Friday. “We didn’t want to put students onto another campus; we wanted them to have a true Wellesley experience,” Doe stated. “During one of our meetings we overheard a member of the maintenance staff complaining about all the free closet space in the Lulu. We decided to help him out by filling up the space with eager first-years who couldn’t tell the difference anyway.”
In fact, most students truly couldn’t tell the difference. Nina Nigh ’16 and her roommate, who live in one of these “rooms,” sleep on long, narrow pieces of wood placed atop bed risers. “Sure, it’s a little cramped, but people are always complaining about tiny rooms,” said Nigh, who was bewildered to learn of her place in the housing scandal.
Even some upperclasswomen didn’t notice anything off. “When my little sister, Nina, told me she was living in the Lulu, my friends and I all assumed there were obscure co-op dorms in there,” explains Morrie Moon ’13. “I saw her room. It’s even got a cool theme—cleaning. The lamps are light bulbs attached to mops!”
Nigh herself originally assumed her odd housing placement was because she was on financial aid. “I was told first-years traditionally got bad rooms. Wellesley has a large endowment, but it still sometimes has trouble with financial aid. I just assumed they’d been doing this for years.”
“The conditions of those rooms are great,” the administration wrote in a second statement issued on Tuesday, after Doe’s statement only further incensed the Wellesley populace. “There’s lots of space for posters, and the view is magnificent.”
By “magnificent view,” the administration is referring to the mirror-walls installed in an effort to distract from the cleaning theme, thanks to which students can look at themselves every morning from all angles.
A total of five closets in the Student Center were ultimately converted into rooms. Each room is approximately the same size of a double in Stone-Davis, meaning that once the beds are un-bunked, the floor allows for roughly one-and-half people to stand on it.
Some students love their rooms. “Harry Potter lived in a closet converted into a room,” shrieked first-year Polly Poter. “I’m not under a staircase, but it’s close enough!” She then ran away singing the words, “Wellesley is friggin’ Hogwarts” to the tune of “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”
However, other students could not share Poter’s enthusiasm. “I went to a boarding school for high school, and this room is the same size of my old dorm room, except I lived in a single,” said Rebel Reed ’16. “This room would be nice if absolutely everything about it were different. Cleaning is a terrible theme.”
When asked about how the room conditions affect her roommate dynamic, Reed replied, “The room makes my roommate angry. She says the mirror is a presumptuous effort to appeal to our vanity. She says that all the cleaning things in there are particularly offensive because they show Wellesley’s secret agenda to domesticate us. Her anger makes me angry. Our room is an angry room.”
Although various members of the administration have apologized for their poor management and lack of foresight, there are currently no plans to rehouse the 10 students currently living in cleaning closets.