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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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CRIBS: Demofrats make use of veto power and Girl Power

Learning your future home has a hole in the floor is never a good sign, but with a tidy carpet and a little help from their landlord, the ladies of 1005 High Street have renovated and are ready to take on their senior year. After covering up the splintered wood, Natalie Eisenberg, Jackie Blair, Madeline Eiler and Erica Hauswald, all ’12, moved on to their next challenge­—naming the house.

Jackie Blair, Erica Hauswald, Natalie Eistenberg and Madeline Eiler, all '12, enjoy a Girl Power moment outside of their residence, Demofrat at 1015 High Street. Photograph by Roni Finkelstein.

“We had a little mess deciding on names,” Hauswald said.

Like the colonies of early America, their potential house names were varied, with many false alarms and changes of heart. In the end, the name was between “House of Representatives,” and “The Flat Lands.”

“The Flat Lands! I still like that one,” Eisenberg said. “Who came up with that one? I did, winner!”

But one of the other residents pulled out her veto power. The veto holds enormous influence among the residence—only the house’s giant kitty poster rivals its dominance. The veto holds no bias—any resident can wield its might to make her point heard.

“Veto is big in this house,” Blair, a Political Science major, explained. “That’s why we’re named the Demofrat.”

Other house traditions include “Girl Power,” initiated when one resident sulked after a disappointing night. Her housemates quickly came to her aid, turning the night into an impromptu celebration.

“Basically, we all go home together Friday or Saturday night,” Hauswald said. “Girl Power nights involve Eggos with ice cream on top, drinking and dancing.”

The tradition helps to reinforce the girls’ bond.

“It’s all about togetherness,” Blair said.

Other traditions include passing around a talking stick when under high stress situations such as picking a house name, and asking each other if outfits work. Unflattering outfits are quickly vetoed, for the greater good.

“We also declared that we can all borrow each others’ clothes,” Blair said.

Dinner consumption and production is communal, often augmented by fresh vegetables that Blair collects from the student garden.

“We all help out, it’s a joint effort,” Eisenberg said. “But [Eiler] always has to chop the onions.”

The foursome’s unification was serendipitous, spurred by friend crushes and coincidences.

“We met during NSO [New Student Orientation] because I liked Erica’s shirt,”  Blair said.

The group transcends mere friendship, now appearing more like sisters than pals. When asked what their house mascot would be, Eisenberg pointed to a large owl statue, while Eiler insisted the mascot would be the large kitty poster.

“What about the sunflowers outside?” Blair asked. “Actually, I think our mascot would be either the feral cats that live outside, or the train.”

When people learned the Demofrats were living in a house together, many had their doubts about how it would turn out.

“People thought since we are all so neurotic, it would be too much,” Eisenberg said.

Despite that, and despite the current state of politics in this country, the Demofrats are getting along just fine.

“But we proved them wrong,” Hauswald said. “We haven’t even fought yet!”

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