“Calhounity” is a term frequently used to describe the feeling of oneness and togetherness shared by all Calhoun students. As one of the smallest residential colleges at Yale, Calhoun offers students an opportunity to form very close and lasting bonds with their suitemates, friends, and all other Hounies as well. Consequently, Hounies are fiercely proud and competitive when it comes to representing their college. Said one Calhoun junior: “Just face it. We’re better than Saybrook.”

In your first few days in the ‘Houn, our charming Master and Associate Master Sledge will wow you with their laid-back Southern attitudes and readiness to help you with any adjustments to life at college, while our ever-sharp Dean Lassonde will amaze you with how quickly he is able to remember your name every time he sees you. In addition, you won’t find a nicer staff on campus; the Master’s aides and administrators Joanna and Colleen will always welcome you with a smile and help you with whatever you need.

The beauty of Calhoun starts with its people, but it certainly does not end there. Nothing beats a spring day spent lounging in our courtyard with the flowers blooming all around while the tire swing sways in the breeze. And as small as the courtyard is, it doesn’t stop us from having a great time outdoors every October for Trolley Day and April for Hounfest, when classes compete against one another at all sorts of crazy events for bragging rights within Calhoun and top it all off with evening courtyard parties.

Speaking of bragging rights, Calhoun has also earned some courtesy of intense play on the intramural sports fields, where we have made a run at first place for the first time in years. In your first days here, you will receive a blue and gold Calhoun IM shirt. Hopefully with the help of the Calhoun class of 2006, we can keep improving and providing a great way for Hounies to get out of the library, exercise and meet the people with whom they will someday exchange memories of the precious time spent in the Mother Houn, as our men’s soccer team has come to call it.

If sports isn’t your thing, that’s okay, too. There are all sorts of other things going on in Calhoun — a quick stroll around our basement will allow you to discover tomorrow’s star directors using our fully-equipped digital video studio, artists enjoying the pottery studio, people taking a breather from their studies with a game of pool or table soccer in the game room, and the musically-inclined perfecting their work in the music practice rooms. You may find a “Friends” party watching their favorite characters on our big screen television on a given Thursday night. The basement is also home to the Calhoun cabaret, where shows are always being put on by ambitious student writers, comedians or musicians. The cabaret plays host to “Six-Feet-Under,” always one of the best-attended shows on campus featuring student artists.

Most importantly, the basement is where our buttery is found. A completely student run operation, the buttery is open weeknights to serve you the tastiest food to enjoy while hanging out with your friends and getting away from your books.

In the next four years, you will learn what it is to be a “Hounie,” a “Houndawg” or a “Houn Tang Clan” member, and you’ll enjoy it within the friendliest and homiest walls at Yale. The Houn is on fire; we don’t need no water let the — well, you know the rest of the cheer.

Tony Cotto is a senior in Calhoun College.