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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Trapped and Waxed

Omeed Kashef, Rebecca Moreland, Hannah Safter and Jerry Brown take it easy at Trapp Haus. Photo by Parker Van Nostrand.
Omeed Kashef, Rebecca Moreland, Hannah Safter and Jerry Brown take it easy at Trapp Haus.
Photo by Parker Van Nostrand.

Athleticism and class are central characteristics the house at 1021 High Street.  Walls are dedicated to athletic banners, pennants and posters. A Grinnell College soccer jersey overlooks the spacious sitting room wall. The members, Jerry Brown, Omeed Kashef, Rebecca Moreland and Hannah Safter (all ’14) call their home the ‘Trapp Haus’.

Brown, Kashef and Safter all lived in the house this past summer, while working both in the community and for the College. Brown and Safter worked for a Galaxy Youth Center day camp and in the Offices of Admission, respectively. Kashef worked for the College, giving tours to prospective students and Moreland spent the summer working for the International Rescue Committee in Arizona resettling Iraqi and Somali refugees.


“When you are [in Grinnell] for the whole summer, it can be nice to get away,” Brown said.

Over the break, Brown, Kashef and Safter took road trips to relieve the drear of a small campus in a small town. They drove around the Midwest to Michigan, the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago and Kashef’s hometown in Cedar Falls. The three found they live well together and Moreland, joining them in August, has only added to house dynamic.

“It’s great to return to a place with people you want to see,” Safter said of her housemates. “You’re not coming home to that weird dude living down the hall. You come home to your family.”

Family rightly describes this group of seniors, whose history with one another spans their entire Grinnell experience. Moreland and Safter were first-year roommates, and Brown and Kashef have played varsity soccer together since coming to Grinnell.

“Last year, we were at dinner one night and just decided to live together,” Moreland recalled.

Due to their long friendships, it seemed only natural that the group would work well together as housemates.

“We have a good balance of a lot of things,” Brown said with unanimous agreement from the rest.

Since all four members of Trapp Haus are involved with varsity sports, it can become difficult at times to find this balance. Brown, Kashef and Safter are currently in soccer season and Moreland in volleyball. During season, the group spends most of their time on campus, methodically fulfilling athletic duties, as well as their academic responsibilities, rather than in their Haus.

In their free time, the housemates enjoy conversing in bedrooms or around the ‘Maiden’, a large table hand crafted by soccer alumni and painted with a large Grinnell Honor-G and occasionally engage in an activity they call “waxin.”

“Waxin” became a Trapp Haus tradition just this summer when the housemates joined two of their favorite downtime activities—burning candles and drinking 40 ounce malt liquor.

“If we drink, we’re drinking 40 ounces,” Brown said.

As the night would progress, the candles would burn down, leaving behind pools and rivers of wax on table surfaces in multicolored arrays that could easily pass as fine art. But all this being said, “waxin” is conducted responsibly and in the safety of their home.

“We have a good ratio of fun to responsibility,” Brown added.

This is partially due to their newfound understandings of the obligations and responsibilities of living in a house of your own.

“[Living off-campus] gives you a good sense of living in the real world,” Kashef said.

The members have yet to let go of their student meal plans, which make eating during the athletic season easier. It also allows them to better manage the hygiene and upkeep of their house and divvy up the tasks amongst themselves.

“We had been wanting to do a [summer in Grinnell] for a while, and this was our chance to do it,” Brown said. “A lot of people on High Street were also here this summer, so it has a good sense of community that is carrying over into the school year.”

While High Street may notoriously be known for its parties, the street also has a more communal, daytime friendly side. This summer the street had barbecues and potlucks, as well as a “Chalk the Block” event where High Street student residents gathered to cover the entire sidewalk in chalk drawings.

“As a senior on High Street, you have pretty much done it all,” Kashef said.

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