When architect Eero Saarinen built Morse back in 1961 he had a statement to make: right angles are overrated. After over 40 classes of proud Morsels have come to love these protractor-defying walls, it turns out that old Eero was right. Morse adds its own wacky flavor to Yale’s mix of residential colleges with its uniquely-shaped rooms and extremely attractive student population.
With its location in the heart of the revitalized Broadway commercial district, Morsels can easily go shopping at J. Crew or grab a bite to eat at the two pizza restaurants that share the block with the college. Payne Whitney Gym towers across the street from Morse and gives students a convenient chance to work out in a commercial-class gym or play on one of the six indoor basketball courts available for pick-up games.
The College boasts a recording studio, a darkroom, two music rooms, a refurbished weight room, the CD Cafe, a fully-equipped student kitchen, and a plush student lounge dedicated to Ericka Bishop-Becker ’97. The Morsel, our buttery, has become a focal point of college life every weekday night as dozens of students journey to the common room for a midnight snack and a game of pool or air hockey. While fully integrated into the Yale community, within its walls, Morse has everything a student could need.
Intramurals are taken seriously in Morse, and with myriad sports offered each season, a prospective IM athlete can usually find a niche for themselves. Morse prides itself on its excellent IM program, and won the Tyng IM Championship Cup in 2000.
The housing in Morse is spectacular. We love our spacious singles, especially when members of other colleges begin to complain about their kleptomaniac/insomniac of a roommate. Our 12-story tower offers housing with a view and includes the Penthouse Double, the highest suite in the University. Morse freshmen will be housed across the street from the college in Swing Space this year, putting them closer to Morse than any other previous freshmen class. Swing Space will give the class of 2006 kitchenettes in addition to the host of amenities the college offers.
Morse sponsors Casino Night every fall, named one of Rolling Stone’s top 10 college parties. The tasteful sounds and smells of gambling and cigar-smoking fill the air as Morse is transformed in Las Vegas for a night. This black tie event is a distinctive facet of Morse’s social atmosphere, as is the Sexplex party suite which houses six of our more festivity-inclined students.
No description of Morse would be the same without mentioning one of its most distinguishing characteristics: Claes Oldenburg’s “Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks.” Viewed either as an affront to good taste or an integral part of the Morse experience, this pop art sculpture is just another example of how quirky Morse can be.
I guess old Eero did know what he was doing with those right angles, since he definitely succeeded in his attempt to create a college “which would recognize the individual as individual instead of an anonymous integer in a group.”
Frank Walsh is a junior in Morse College.