Annex students may live in Swing Space

Yale has already decided to house freshmen from Morse and Stiles colleges in Swing Space next year as Vanderbilt Hall is being renovated, but those students may have company.

Morse and Stiles freshmen alone will fill only two-thirds of Swing Space and Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said housing annexed students from various colleges, annexing students from just one college, or moving a third college’s freshmen to Swing Space are all possibilities for the remaining space.

Residential college and Yale college deans met Tuesday to discuss the issue.

“We haven’t reached any conclusions; [there are] several options,” Meeske said. “No matter what we do, there are pros and cons.”

Another issue that arises with freshmen living in Swing Space is adult supervision. Though traditionally there are no adults living on Old Campus with the freshmen, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said there definitely will be an adult presence in Swing Space next year.

“We have to have another adult there, even with the freshman counselors — it’s too much for the counselors to handle,” Trachtenberg said. “Old Campus is an enclosed space, and the police are right there in Phelps Gate. The students are close enough to their own colleges.”

The dean of the college and graduate affiliates typically live in Swing Space with the students while their college is being renovated, Trachtenberg said.

Annexing student from just one college would limit the number of deans and masters involved, Meeske said.

“One of the arguments is as long as some freshman [are living in Swing Space], don’t just have two colleges isolated, make more of a freshman community,” he said.

Meeske said approximately 65 upperclassmen currently live in Vanderbilt. Lawrance and Durfee halls, where Morse and Stiles freshmen live, only have room for about 20 annexed students.

“If we did move a third college of freshmen, that dorm could be used for annex [space] for upperclassmen,” Meeske said.

Trachtenberg said she has reservations about upperclassmen living with freshmen in Swing Space.

Ezra Stiles junior Daniel Osnoss said he was adamantly against having Morse and Stiles freshmen live in the colleges during discussions last year, and he feels that Swing Space should only house freshmen next year.

“I would say that it would seem better to put the freshmen there from other colleges if they’re already forcing some freshmen out there,” Osnoss said. “At least they can simulate the experience from Old Campus on some level.”

Annexed Jonathan Edwards junior Ross Dunkel disagreed.

“I think Old Campus is for freshmen,” Dunkel said. “I’d put the upperclassmen in Swing Space and let the freshpeople live on Old Campus.”

If annexed students are housed on Old Campus, more students from crowded colleges may be moved into the Old Campus dorms, Meeske said.

“Stiles has three sophomores in some doubles; Morse has two sophomores in some singles,” Meeske said. “One possibility is to decrowd.”

One of the arguments against housing other freshmen in Swing Space is that they would be far from their residential colleges, Trachtenberg said.

“The reason Morse and Stiles were thought of is that they’re very close to Swing Space,” Trachtenberg said. “Freshmen in Swing Space only [have to] walk across the street to the dining halls and activity spaces.”

Both Trachtenberg and Meeske emphasized that no decisions have been made and that next year’s housing situation is unprecedented. They said they plan to seek student input through the residential college deans. The Timothy Dwight College Class of 2005 is the first freshman class to live in Swing Space.

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Barbara Wexelman
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