Ezra Stiles is the best college at Yale — ever.

Stiles, like its backwards neighbor to the north, Morse, was built in 1962 with “citadels of earthy monolithic masonry designed after the medieval hill town, San Gimignano.” Just like this small town in Italy, Ezra Stiles College is conveniently located across the street from the gym. Eero Saarinen, of both architecture and crossword puzzle fame, put the college close to the gym on purpose, foreseeing the standout performance of several Stiles intramural stars.

Although people sometimes criticize Eero’s hatred of right angles, he explained it best:Ê”It all goes back to when I was a child.ÊTeacher made me sit in the corner during class. All I could say was, ‘No one puts Eero in a corner.'”ÊNow, no one can fit his or her bed in a corner, either.

Because a moose also has no right angles, Eero chose this fine animal as the Stiles mascot. Coincidentally, there is also a moose that peers down on Stiles students as they eat the best food at Yale in the dining hall. Stiles and Morse each have a Pan Geos station, as well as newly-installed frozen yogurt machines for Stilesian eating pleasure. Though there are few reasons to ever venture into Morse, it is especially convenient that the dining halls are connected so when Stiles runs out of your favorite cereal, you can walk through to the uglier college and check out their selection, too.

Speaking of the dining hall, the buttery is located just through the foyer in the common room along with the foosball stadium and the jukebox. This not-so-common common room is commonly the site of many spectacular events throughout the year for some very special people.

Stilesians said goodbye this year to both their Master and Dean and will welcome incoming Dean Jennifer Wood-Nangombe GRD ’04 and interim Master Traugott Lawler. Lawler, who served as Stiles Master before Master Fry, is covering for new Master Stuart Schwartz who will be on leave this year and start his mastership in the fall of 2003.

February’s “Arts Fest Week” here in Stiles is the gem of Yale’s many cultural events throughout the year. From original haikus to student artwork to Cabaret Night’s awe-inspiring performances, the Moose really rolls out the red carpet for Stiles Arts Fest.

While on the subject of red, you can bet on red (or black) every November on the roulette wheels of Casino Night.ÊCalled one of the year’s best college parties by Rolling Stone magazine, Casino Night brings a little Las Vegas to this quaint Tuscan village. Needless to say, you’re always a winner when you bet on Ezra Stiles College.

One such winner is Edward Norton ’91 who helped make Stiles much more like “Everyone Says I Love You” than “Fight Club” or “Primal Fear.” It is no coincidence that Thomas Jefferson allegedly used to call Ezra Stiles (the man, not the building), Ezra Smiles. And just as Jefferson’s other major work, the Declaration of Independence, still rings true today, so too does his nickname for Ezra Stiles, a college dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Luis Poza is a junior in Ezra Stiles. He wrote this with the help of Andy Beck ’02 and Mike Gerber ’01.