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Corner of Broad & 8th: poophouse

By Tanvi Jindal

A cozy house on the corner of Broad Street and 8th Street is home to Robin Crotteau, Oonagh Jordan, Caleigh Ryan, Marie Kolarik and Julia Broeker, all ‘17. They have known each other since their first year at Grinnell and decided to live together off campus for their last year together at Grinnell.

“Caleigh and I were roommates our first year,” Kolarik said.

“Yeah, we have been roommates every year, except our third year when we were abroad different semesters, when we switched the same room. Robin and Oonagh were in my Spanish class first year. We all lived in Main hall too,” Ryan said.

“Julia was a later addition to our group,” Crotteau said.

Living and eating on campus was cleaner and more convenient, but there are advantages to living off-campus as well.

“Now that we all are off-campus, one of the main things I miss about living on campus is the dining hall. Having to make dinner is a huge pain, sometimes you just want to gorge yourself … sit on the dining hall and eat,” Crotteau said.

“But it’s nice to be able to walk into the bathroom with no pants on, but we also miss the FM cleaning the bathroom,” Ryan said.

The residents of “poophouse,” Robin Crotteau, Oonagh Jordan, Caleigh Ryan, Marie Kolarik and Julia pose inside their brown-walled abode.

“The cleanliness on campus is significantly higher than that off-campus,” Crotteau said.

“I think it depends on where you live though. We lived in Main and it was disgusting. Also, we know everybody here- nobody’s sketchy,” Ryan said.

The group saw moving off-campus as the natural conclusion to the four-year housing progression.

“First you get to pick your roommate, then you get to have a single and then you get to live off-campus. It’s like the maturation of living situations,” Jordan said. “There’s definitely a distancing from campus though.”

Living off campus has only served to strengthen the bonds within the group.

“Caleigh and I are used to living together,” Kolarik said.

“We are bonded for life at this point, like the kind of fish that stick to each other. When you live with a bunch of other people, you’ll have tensions, but these are all people I like. When you live in dorms, you have no control over the people who live there as well. We’re all able to sit down together and resolve issues, whereas in dorms, you can’t do that,” Ryan added.

Living off campus is often refreshingly isolating.

“If you don’t want to go out, you don’t have to because no one can force you to anymore. You can be a hermit so much easier off-campus,” Crotteau said.

“I feel like we are a bunch of wine moms, who just bicker about their day around the kitchen table, but in a good way,” Ryan said.

The friends are often at odds about the state of the kitchen and other contentious topics.

“I think bickering makes you stronger friends,” Crotteau said.

“It’s about cleanliness mostly. We fight about the kitchen,” Ryan said.

The friends resolve their problems through group texts and house meetings.

“We have house meetings to resolve them. Usually when I have a lot of grievances, I send a text on the group message- it’s called ‘binch’, which is like bitch but less mean- and then we have a house meeting and then we’ll resolve the issues,” Crotteau said.

Ryan thought that a house name was important, but the others decided on ‘poophouse’ as the name.

“In the beginning of the year, we were thinking, ‘what should call this house?’ It’s important because you have to give yourself an identity. It was really important to Caleigh and I was in a bad mood that day so I said, ‘I’m going to call it poophouse because this house is brown’ and that stuck because we thought it was funny to antagonize Caleigh. We also alternatively like to call the house ‘bitch-haven’,” Crotteau said.

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    Jeff Dickey-ChasinsFeb 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Interesting read. I’m a townie that walks by this house every day, and sometimes wonder about the students that I know live there. One tiny request: the trash and recycling is often a mess – strewn over the yard/parking. Maybe a daily or weekly cleanup is in order?