There are many fun activities and trips in the dorms to highlight each week, but one of the sweetest experiences we have is one that never gets much attention: our dorm floor meetings.
Our dorms, North, West, and East, are each set up in an “L” formed by two hallways. Each hallway has its own set of bathrooms and showers, and each floor has its own lounge and laundry area, with a refrigerator and microwave. Resident Faculty apartments are located at the end of each hallway, anchoring the buildings and helping to keep our boarding students protected and cared for. The students on our floors represent countries from all over the world. One thing those of us who have been here a while have learned is that for all of our differences, we have more in common than many initially suspect, and one of the ways we find those common interests and experiences is through our dorm meetings.
Each floor meets regularly in the lounge to rotate community chore assignments, discuss challenges we’re experiencing on the floor, and to connect as a dorm family. This week at our dorm meeting on West 1, for example, after assigning chores and discussing the importance of not storing personal toiletries in the showers, we went around the room sharing roses and thorns before adjourning. As students shared their concerns about upcoming tests or essays as well as their minor and major victories, they responded to each other with words of encouragement and cheers. When a freshman shared that she hadn’t performed as well as she’d hoped on a recent English exam, a senior reassured her by saying, â€œThat happens. You just have to keep going and keep trying and don’t let it get you down.â€ I often tell students on my floor to look around at all of the peer tutors they have available to help them with their classes. It is beautiful to see our students laughing together while decorating the lounge for a holiday or singing happy birthday to a floor-mate and sharing a special treat. We also travel off campus each year with our dorm floor to enjoy a dinner out or a special treat together. Each floor develops its own personality and its own identity. This year we are further establishing our floor identities through our colors, mascots, and cheers.
And of course, we do have plenty of fun trips and activities outside of our dorms to enjoy. This weekend, in addition to our off-campus trips, we are proud to attend the world premiere of an on-campus production that many of our boarding students past and present actively participated in creating: Forgotten Voices, an original musical written, performed, and produced by San Domenico students. We can’t wait to see it! Congratulations to all of our boarding students who were involved in this impressive project!
— Sonya Evans, US Faculty and Residential Faculty