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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Cribz: Get to know Corn Palace–and the corn phallus

(Left to right, top to bottom) Maddie Goldman ’18, Tulah Fuchs ’19, Mimi Sarai ’18, Clare Magalaner ’18, Kathryn Yetter ’18 and Lucy Chechik ’18 are the residents of the always-entertaining Corn Palace. Photo taken by Mahira Faran.
(Left to right, top to bottom) Maddie Goldman ’18, Tulah Fuchs ’19, Mimi Sarai ’18, Clare Magalaner ’18, Kathryn Yetter ’18 and Lucy Chechik ’18 are the residents of the always-entertaining Corn Palace. Photo taken by Mahira Faran.

Walking into the Corn Palace, one encounters the smell of popcorn and the sound of loud, and perhaps even fake, laughter.

“Sometimes [Kathryn Yetter ’18] tells computer science jokes and we just laugh,” said Lucy Chechik ’18.

Yetter, Chechik, Mimi Sarai ’18, Clare Magalaner ’18, Maddie Goldman ’18 and Tulah Fuchs ’19 live together in the home they call Corn Palace. Not only have many of the housemates been to the real-life Corn Palace in South Dakota, but Chechik also wanted a name that lent itself well to an alter ego: the corn phallus.

“I really wanted it to catch on, but it’s really never been used,” Chechik said. “I wanted it to be our weekend alter ego. Come to the Corn Palace around 9 p.m., you’ll meet the corn phallus.”
Fuchs, who is a year below the rest of the housemates and was abroad first semester, said that although there were adjustments to make moving in, living in the house with her friends has been an overall positive experience.

“It is a little odd to live off-campus as a third year just because a lot of my friends not in this house live on-campus, so I feel like it’s definitely a commitment that I have to make on my part to go back to campus, and visit my friends in their dorms,” Fuchs said. “It’s been furthering myself from the college social scene in some ways, but also I think it’s made my friendships with my housemates stronger. … Especially my first month here, I would wake up and see my friends and be like this is incredible! My friends are just here!”

“I feel like you usually just grunt at me in the morning,” Chechik added.

The six humans are not the only ones who make daily use of the house, however. Randall, a.k.a Greg, a.k.a Olivia is a possum that stays underneath their bathtub. One weekend night while taking out the trash, a neighbor alerted them that a possum had eaten their trash. The Corn Palace residents decided to put the trash in a stairway, the most “inside-outside” part of the house, according to Magalaner.

“I’m in bed, and Clare just comes screaming and is like, I can hear the possum at the top of the stairs, and it had gotten into the trash bag,” Yetter said.

“This is the culmination of all our personalities,” Fuchs added. “Clare was freaked out, Kathryn was like let’s get some shit done, I’m tired, let’s … move this, and I was like, let’s play a song on the speaker to scare it!”

Their landlord decided to address the possum. One night, according to Chechik, there was “a mysterious man at our back porch with a bat in his hand.” However, the man with the bat was unsuccessful, and the possum still hangs around.

“I live at peace with the possum, like it doesn’t scare me as much anymore when I hear it under the bathtub,” Fuchs said. “I know what it is and so far it hasn’t entered our house, that we know of, so I’m like, ok, it’ll just be there, it hasn’t eaten through anything yet, we think.”

Many of the housemates — all except for Goldman and Randall/Greg/Olivia — spend a lot of time together outside of the Corn Palace playing frisbee.

“I feel like sometimes it can be overwhelming. Like you can go to team dinner, and then you also go home together, and you also went to practice together before that, and I feel like at points this year I’ve been like, I need other friends,” Yetter said. “But it’s also really nice to have this subcommunity to talk about what I’m thinking about on the frisbee team all the time and that’s really nice.”

While many of the housemates do operate on a similar schedule, they don’t consider themselves to be a friend group, as is often the case with off-campus houses.

“We all have a lot of other different friends and I don’t think any of us would consider ourselves a friend group, but we are really close in a lot of ways,” Magalaner said. “And I think we love seeing each other, hanging out a lot and do it a lot, but in a way that’s a lot more inclusive, and I don’t feel like I need to spend all my time at home hanging out with these people.”

One activity that frequently brings them together is hosting dinner parties. They all enjoy cooking, and spend a lot of time together in the kitchen. In addition to the dinner parties, the housemates cook together for fun on a regular basis, and collaborate to ensure that everyone has a healthy and delicious meal.

“I expected everyone to be really healthy, just knowing that everyone was really healthy in the past. They still are very healthy,” Fuchs said. “I feel like they’ve inspired me. … And putting foods together — yesterday I asked Mimi what was missing from my bowl —”

“Sauce,” Sarai said.

“It was sauce,” Fuchs said. “Yeah. And crunch.”

Before the end of the interview, the residents of Corn Palace took some time to think about what their sixth housemate, Goldman, who was not able to attend, would have said.
“My bed is really comfortable,” Magalaner said. “She really likes her bed.”

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