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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Student speaks: Dorm Hall Defense

Are you an East Campus evildoer, a South Campus scoundrel, or a North Campus ne’er-do-well? Each of the three sections of the Grinnell College campus boasts its own character, (dis)advantages and ardent loyalists. Three students –– Marina Busby `24, Rebecca Fox `24 and David Eason `24 –– have repeated years living in their favorite clusters. Busby, Fox and Eason have all developed loyalties to their preferred sections of campus, ranging from East Campus’s climate-controlled rooms to South Campus’s proximity to Gardner Lounge. 

South Campus

Marina Busby `24 (Meilynn Smith)

Marina Busby has lived in South Campus for the past three years. Her repeated residency is partially due to the cluster’s social atmosphere. “If you’re someone who really enjoys a part of campus that’s going to be social and connect you with a lot of on-campus activities and off-campus activities, South is the place to go,” she said. “It’s social, but not too extroverted, and that’s exactly what I was going for.”

Busby said she believes this social culture is partially a result of Main Hall’s basement-level Gardner Lounge, the site of many campus concerts and parties, as well as the cluster’s closeness to many student off-campus houses. “Big fan of Gardners,” Busby said. “Whether it’s the party or the concerts or anything, being so close is really convenient.”

A native of the state of Georgia, Busby said they find the enclosed loggia space of South Campus an added benefit, insulating students from the at-times brutal Iowa winters. “That enclosed loggia in the wintertime is a game changer,” said Busby. “It drops you from being super freezing to just kind of freezing.”

Though South Campus may have its detractors –– namely those who lament the lack of air conditioning and the occasional noise –– Busby says she is dedicated to it. “South does get a lot of hate,” they said. “But I love it. I think it’s really slept on.”

North Campus

Rebecca Fox `24 (Meilynn Smith)

Rebecca Fox has spent all four of her years at Grinnell living in Younker Hall, even going so far as living in the same third-floor room for two years in a row. Fox was initially assigned to Younker her first year. After taking the 2020-2021 academic year off, she returned to the dorm as a Community Advisor. “It was like, that’s kind of what I know, so it’d be nice to go back to it,” she said. “But now, I really like to every year. 

Though her initial reason for returning to Younker was the hall’s familiarity, Fox said its proximity to important campus buildings––namely the Joe Rosenfield `25 Center (JRC) and Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC) –– compelled her to stay. The central location of Younker also allows students to gather together, according to Fox. “It’s closer to everything and it’s where a lot of people can congregate,” she said. “Like, I feel like East Campus is not a meeting place.”  Alongside its physical position, Fox said that she likes her fellow North Campus residents.“I feel like it [the North Campus community] is the right mix of like, not too loud and crazy, but still fun and not boring,” she said.

From the outside, the brick facade of Gates Tower and its neighboring dorms provide Fox with a pleasant view of the Grinnell College Campus. “I think North Campus is really pretty,” she said. 

East Campus

David Eason `24 (Meilynn Smith)

While David Eason has not lived in East Campus for the entirety of his time on campus, he is a devoted supporter of the cluster after spending his third and fourth years at Grinnell as a resident. 

Even before living in East, he knew that he wanted to get placed in the cluster. Eason’s biggest draw to East was the cluster’s air conditioning. Addressing fans of both North and South Campus, Eason said, “Good luck with the next heatwave.” 

Eason said he also enjoys the peacefulness of the East Campus community. “If you’re someone that especially likes to have a room you can go to if you want solitude to do whatever, game, do homework … I think East is just the best for that,” he said.

East’s quieter setting does not mean that residents have no social life, Eason added. “There’s admittedly a little trade off with, I feel like, East has the calmest social life of all three campuses,” he said. “But I think for a lot of people that trade off is probably worth it because there is still a social scene, it’s just not nearly as crazy as South, not quite as outgoing as North.” 

Eason’s devotion to East Campus is strong enough that he said he has argued with his roommate to remain in the cluster, eventually convincing him to stay. “At this point, yeah, I’ve fought for it enough,” he said. “I have to have some amount of loyalty.” 


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About the Contributors
Nora Kohnhorst
Nora Kohnhorst, Staff Writer
Nora Kohnhorst is a third-year history major from Queens, NYC. This is her first semester as a staff writer, but it is her third semester at The S&B. She is a retired bread baker and active knitter. She also works at the Stew Makerspace in downtown Grinnell!
Meilynn Smith
Meilynn Smith, Staff Photographer
Meilynn is a first-year from Vancouver, Washington. She is an intended biology major and wants to go into physical therapy in the future. She enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with friends, going on hikes, and photographing wildlife. 
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