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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Messy college students in a messy college house

Govind Sartaj
Christine Rains, Clara Trippe, Josephine Sloyan, Olivia Schouboe Elzinga and Yufei Wang, all ’18, pose outside their cuddly, welcoming, all-femme party home. Photo by Govind Brahmanyapura.
Christine Rains, Clara Trippe, Josephine Sloyan, Olivia Schouboe Elzinga and Yufei Wang, all ’18, pose outside their cuddly, welcoming, all-femme party home. Photo by Govind Brahmanyapura.

By Amanda Weber

Many Grinnell partygoers are likely familiar with the interior of 1014 High Street. However, for the house’s residents, Yufei Wang, Christine Rains, Josephine Sloyan, Clara Trippe and Olivia Schouboe, all ’18, familiarity has become an understatement.

“It was funny moving in because I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been to parties here,’” said Trippe.

Indeed, the house has hosted many a party, which can leave a visible impact, even when the parties are over and done. According to Rains, chairs used to block off the upstairs to partygoers during the party have been known to remain an obstacle for days afterward, and dancers at a party once broke a table. While instances like these can contribute to clutter, they also imbue the house with a sense of joy and celebration that has become as much a part of the house as the framework, and 1014’s welcoming nature is a point of pride for the residents.

“I like having a space where people can feel comfortable coming in and hanging out,” said Trippe. “There’s not a lot of femme-only houses that throw parties … so [it’s nice] having a space where women and non-binary people can feel safe going to parties and feel comfortable socializing.”

“A lot of houses on High Street particularly that host things tend to be associated with a sports team,” Rains agreed. “It’s kind of nice to be the alternative.”

Though the house is every inch a site for socialization and celebration for the greater Grinnell College community, it has also provided an environment that has fostered close friendships among the residents, and the easy amiability there is immediately apparent.

“There’s a lot of coming and going. We’re all very busy people. But it is nice at the end of the night — everyone comes back and hangs out on the porch for a little bit before they go to bed or we’ll eat together or cook at the same time. There’s a lot of cuddling in various people’s beds,” Trippe said.

One region of 1014 that has established itself as a place for relaxing and bonding — and as an especially significant spot for Trippe— is the porch.

“Clara’s the porch queen. … We have an enclosed porch and that’s like Clara’s little space. A lot of times I’ll come home from Burling and there’ll be a bunch of people on the porch,” Rains said.

The porch is one of many endearing aspects of the house, and there are plenty of smaller details that add to 1014’s charm. The painting of mallard ducks with lasers coming out of their eyes that hangs on the wall, for instance, though divisive for the residents, adds to the eccentric appeal of the house.

It is details like the painting that, when glimpsed on a simple walk-through, give one an immediate sense of 1014’s personality: it is a home that is warm, welcoming and well-lived.

“The house is charming, it has beautiful crown molding and could use some more repair probably, but it’s got really good bones. … And it’s both literally and figuratively warm all the time,” Rains said.

To describe it simply, Trippe said it best with no small amount of affection and poignancy:

“We’re messy college students and our house is a messy college house.”

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