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The Scarlet & Black

F**K City and Diva Haus show off their flamboyant decor, Part II

Many may still associate 1026 High Street with its predecessor, Thunderdome, but the new residents want everyone to know, “It’s Diva Haus, betch!”

Ragnar Thorisson ’11, Maya Ruiz-Stanbury ’11, Claire Branigan ’11 and Juan Garcia ’11 occupy both the upstairs and downstairs of Diva Haus. And yes, they are all divas. They’ve all managed to incorporate being a diva into their everyday life—whether they are crossing the street, partying or greeting others in Grinnell.

Diva Haus
Ruiz-Stanbary, Thorisson and Branigan, of Diva Haus, polish their diva heels. - Daniel Penny

“We try to include the word diva into our speech as much as possible,” Garcia said.

They raise their hands up in the air and snap to greet each other.

“It’s all about the diva snap,” said Branigan and Thorisson while demonstrating.

While crossing 6th Street, the Diva Haus residents put their hand up to signal that oncoming traffic is to stop in their presence. Branigan demonstrated a diva crossing by putting her hand up and then screamed while running across the street.

Of course, these divas know how to party. On weekends, the second floor is transformed into Club Diva.

“There are a lot of fruity mixed drinks, garnished with little flowers,” Branigan said.

Though the divas are a close-knit family, the two floors are definitely different. The residents refer to them as Power Bottom and Power Top.

“Power Bottom is more about social justice,” Thorisson said.

“And Power Top is more about Club Diva,” Ruiz-Stanbury said.

The divas eat dinner together almost every night, which has helped them feel more like a family. They enjoy making very diverse foods.

“Maya made Moroccan once,” Branigan said.

“And I make Icelandic food,” Thorisson said.

None of the house’s resident have been able to successfully master the charcoal and lighter fluid.
“The only thing divas can’t do is grill,” Ruiz-Stanbury said.

But the divas assure us that that’s the only thing they can’t do.

“We’re really supportive of each other,” Garcia said. “I had an interview for my Watson scholarship, and they all came to wish me good luck.”

Other bonding activities include watching “Sex and the City” together.

“There’s always ‘Sex and the City’ on in Diva Haus,” Garcia said.

They also have a Problematic Wall, Gender Gumby and Fun Corner in the kitchen downstairs where the divas can add memories and ideas. Branigan explained that they got the concept from the AJust training that she and Thorisson attended.

The divas also have big plans for their Haus.

“There’s a rumor that we’re going to be throwing the pre- and post-parties for the drag show this year,” Garcia said.

And by rumor, they mean that they’ll definitely be partying.

Even though the divas have only been living together since the beginning of school, they ask that you save the house warming parties for the times of the year when they’ll actually need your warmth.

“Power Bottom isn’t going to pay for heating this winter,” Branigan said.

“We’ll be inviting lots of people over to party with us and help us heat the house!” Ruiz-Stanbury said.

Clearly, these divas know how to keep it classy.

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