’Hounies react to prospect of residing in Swing Space

As housing draw season approaches, students in all 12 residential colleges have begun the angst-ridden process of deciding where to live. But for Calhoun College residents, this year’s process will be particularly difficult.

With Calhoun set to undergo renovations next year, about 70 Calhoun students met with the college’s dean, Leslie Woodward, to discuss the move to Swing Space. ’Hounies will soon have to decide to live in the college’s temporary home or to move off campus next year.

Swing Space, located along Grove Street, near the Payne Whitney Gym and across the street from Morse College, has identical, hotel-like two-room suites featuring in-suite bathrooms and kitchenettes — a big change for students accustomed to wood-paneled suites of as few as one and as many as 10 beds.

Despite the differences, Woodward told the assembled students, the college will make the most of its year away from its ancestral home.

“It is not Calhoun,” she said. “It’s a little like the Ramada Inn, but it’s a really nice hotel.”

Every cloud has a silver lining, students in attendance who were interviewed said. One advantage of Swing Space is the more uniform suite configurations, said Eli Luberoff ’09, the chairman of Calhoun’s housing committee.

“Lacking the variety will simplify things in a lot of ways,” Luberoff said.

Although the specifics are still unknown, Woodard and the members of the Calhoun housing committee estimated that sophomores would be assigned four to a suite, juniors would get triples and seniors would get doubles.

The discussion of housing was not the only item on the agenda. Woodward also informed the students that they would not have the option of purchasing the 21 meal-a-week plan, the option required of all freshmen. Instead, they should sign up for an identically-priced plan that provides 14 meals per week in addition to $150 in Flex Points, which can be used in retail facilities such as the Law School dining hall or Durfee’s and Yorkside Pizza and Restaraunt on York Street. They will also receive an additional $75 in Flex Points customarily given to all Swing Space residents.

Calhoun students weighing their living options had mixed feelings about the renovation.

Some, like Scott Griffen, were excited: “I want to live at Swing Space,” he said. He dismissed the possibility of moving off campus.

“I’ll have the rest of my life to live in apartments,” he said.

But other students lamented Swing Space’s relatively remote location. The dormitory is far from the most frequented undergraduate classroom buildings, such as William L. Harkness Hall, which sits just across the Cross Campus from Calhoun.

“The distance and lack of a dining hall leave something to be desired,” said Joe Kelly ’10. Even so, Kelly said, the hassle of living off campus has convinced him, reluctantly, to stay.

“Living off campus makes me feel too much like an adult,” Kelly said.

Many eligible students, especially students, will move off campus, said Ellen Ray ’09. Ray said she is prepared to move on from dorm living.

“I’m ready to have a more adult lifestyle,” she said as she rattled off a list of rising juniors that will be leaving the residential college community.

Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus.


  • 85Alum

    Harkness Hall is far? Three blocks to walk? What kind of helpless children are we educating here? No wonder they whine about the great distance ( one extra block) to the new residential colleges. But they can easily stagger all the way back from Crown Street. Whats happened to Yale?

  • Anonymous

    I agree. It's no farther walking from morse to WLH than swing space.
    Oh and in case Calhoun is that out of shape, the gym is only across the street so they can build up their endurance to walking such extreme lengths.

  • Danielle Calhoun '07

    I think that's it's more the lack of dining hall and therefore less sense of a community that makes the walking more tedious. Swing feels like it's off in the boonies because of the way the rooms are set up, though the walking distance isn't that far. I went to the gym every day at Yale even when I was a FroCo on Old Campus. It's not really the walk that turns students off.

  • Anonymous

    This is ridiculous. As a member of Jonathan Edwards college and, thus, living in "the Ramada Inn" this year, I promisw that living in Swing is not that bad. There are serious perks, actually. After appreciating the social environment hallway-living induces, I am a quite sad to leave Swing for JE next year. I think I speak for a lot of JE when I say that we've grown a lot closer as a college because of our time in Swing. Another benefit of Swing? The kitchenettes. I think Hounies will find that their classmates can cook up some gourmet meals with those stove tops--there's another thing I'll miss next year.

    Ask SM students and I think they'll have a similar reaction to their time in Swing. Though the lack of a dining hall is not ideal, true, there are so many things to appreciate about living in Swing that the YDN (and Calhoun's) reaction is just absurd. Stop focusing on the aesthetics and pay more attention to what actually matters.