Berkeley, Stiles and Morse frosh to live in Swing Space

Berkeley College freshmen will join the freshmen of Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges in Swing Space next year, Yale officials said Monday.

Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead said this arrangement will annex upperclassmen in buildings closer to their colleges and will create more of a freshman identity in Swing Space while Vanderbilt Hall is being renovated.

“Instead of two colleges living off from the rest, it will be a real freshman community,” Brodhead said.

Brodhead said moving more freshmen to Swing Space will also give annexed students more room. Annexed students from Berkeley and Trumbull colleges will be in Durfee Hall next year, directly across the street from their colleges, Brodhead said.

Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said most of the colleges will be in the same Old Campus dorms next year. Under his preliminary plan, however, Branford freshmen will move to Lawrance Hall, where Stiles freshmen currently live. Durfee will be an entire annex building, he said, housing annexed students from Calhoun, Berkeley, Trumbull, Stiles, Morse, and possibly Saybrook colleges, if they need any extra room.

Meeske said the plan for Old Campus housing is still preliminary and may change subject to suggestions from the residential college deans. Under this plan, McClellan Hall would house the annexed students from Branford and Jonathan Edwards.

Currently, there are 200 annex spaces on Old Campus, while next year there will be approximately 220, Meeske said. Some of the more crowded colleges, such as Ezra Stiles, can have more annex space, he said.

Meeske said they thought it would be best for another college’s freshmen to live in Swing Space because there are different rules for freshmen and upperclassmen on issues like alcohol. Also, if there were a problem in Swing Space, it would be difficult to coordinate policy with many different deans and masters if miscellaneous colleges were annexed there, he said.

Brodhead said Yale chose Berkeley students because the college has already been renovated.

“There’s no risk they’ll have to live in Swing Space again,” Brodhead said.

Meeske said they ruled out freshmen from Davenport, Pierson and Trumbull colleges because all of their residences are scheduled to be renovated soon, though the dates are not definite.

Brodhead and Meeske said there will be an adult supervisor in Swing Space, in addition to the freshman counselors from the three colleges.

“The idea is to have the dean’s suite that’s in the swing space be occupied by some sort of an adult presence, maybe a grad student, maybe older,” Meeske said. “We have to work out what the duties are, and what the compensation is.”

Some Berkeley students said they feel badly for the freshmen who will miss out on the Old Campus experience, but that an annex in Durfee is ideal.

“I feel bad that they’re not going to experience Old Campus and they’ll be so far away from the college,” Berkeley sophomore Katherine Capelluto said. “[But] I’m actually very happy that the annexation’s in Durfee because it puts me closer to my dining hall than where I live right now, and the rooms are supposedly really nice.”

Berkeley Master John Rogers said he understands that Berkeley students have to sacrifice the Old Campus experience in exchange for a renovated college the following year.

“We’re heartened that our freshmen will be with two other colleges of freshmen,” Rogers said. “We’re also really delighted that the Berkeley juniors will be in Durfee, which is just right across from Berkeley.”

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