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The Scarlet & Black

Goat House: Without heat, without fear

Max Keller, Seth Gustafson, Andrew Clark and Morgan Kinsinger (’14) pose with their guns. Photo by Tela Ebersole.

When they are not punching windows, throwing keggers or watching Blue Mountain State, one might find residents of the Goat House located at 817 7th Ave. on the football field instead. The rickety ol’ house hosts four Grinnell football players: Andrew Clark, Seth Gustafson, Morgan Kinsinger and Max Keller (all ’14).

The Goat House, named for the fraternity in the aforementioned television show, might have taken quite a beating in the past 103 years of its existence and remains standing, but that does not mean it is immune to flaws. For the past six weeks the house has been without heating.

“Lots of blankets and lots of sleepovers. That’s how we survived [the winter],” Clark said.

Without proper heating, the house’s pipes have frozen several times this winter and the water heater has even burst. However, despite all the trauma the Goat House and its inhabitants have endured, it still feels like home.

Max Keller, Seth Gustafson, Andrew Clark and Morgan Kinsinger (’14) pose with their guns. Photo by Tela Ebersole.
Max Keller, Seth Gustafson, Andrew Clark and Morgan Kinsinger (’14) pose with their guns.
Photo by Tela Ebersole.

The lack of water and heat has forced the friends to trek to the College’s Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center for their hygienic needs and a means to stay fresh both on and off the field.

The four also try to expand their involvement in the community through their interest in and experience with playing football. During one day in the fall season, these four gentlemen and all their teammates host a junior football training camp for students who attend the local primary school. Additionally, Keller, a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is currently organizing a community meal that will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 4 for the Kids Against Hunger program.

However, the housemates are probably most known for a vastly different event that they host: Frank. The well-attended party can act as an indicator of the events to take place at the Goat House.

The house threw five house parties after their season last semester and students should expect a couple more along the way. The teammates are willing to put forth substantial funding towards these activities filed to take place.

“Expect Frank parts three and four,” Kinsinger said.

The four friends have had to dig even deeper into their pockets since the Goat House originally housed nine people, who have left due to a mold infestation in the basement and to study abroad. But the absence of some friends in the house certainly doesn’t take away from the camaraderie that continues. At the end of each week, the crew holds Funky Friday, where they play Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart on Nintendo 64, while two large speakers blast funk music.

Though they possess similar appetites for leadership, partying and Nintendo 64, their characteristics appear quite different. The way they best explained their characters was in relation to the quad in “The Hangover” movies.

“Morgan is Doug the wise one. Andrew is Phil the calm one. Max is Alan the drunk one. And Seth is Stu the angry one,” Gustafson explained.

Kinsinger, Clark and Gustafson lived on East Campus their first two years and, like the characters from “The Hangover,” the easy living and quiet lifestyle could not satisfy their thirst for adventure.

“It’s more a home living here,” Kinsinger said. “It’s nice coming to your living room and seeing your friends there instead of someone you don’t know.”

It is this friendship that has made living in a house without heat and hot water in below freezing temperatures for several weeks all worth it.

“The house might get cold at times, but these students’ drinks, traditions and big hearts definitely warm the place up,” Kinsinger summed up.

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