Raegan Hill ’19 Contributing Writer
There have been both drawbacks and benefits to living in The Village this year, but I’ve concluded that it has been a positive experience.
Three situations that I’ve faced this year include living with a roommate, living with only freshmen, and sharing a complex with students of the opposite gender. Sharing a room has taught me important life skills such as compromise and accountability. I’m reluctant to leave behind all the inside jokes, the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and the duets with Margaret Williams in Johnson 205. Starting at a new school is tough for anyone, but by having a roommate, you instantly have one familiar face.
I am also very grateful for the opportunity to live in a hall of only ninth graders because at the end of the day, they are the ones I’m going to spend the next four years with. This is not to say I don’t want to get to know the upperclassmen, but living with my class has created deeper, more meaningful friendships.
Overall, the class of 2019 was fortunate to have Crowe Commons be a part of our everyday lives. The space has literally and figuratively connected Johnson and Doubleday. Some of my favorite memories from this year include the entire grade watching Silence of the Lambs on Halloween and my Semi date teaching me how to swing dance in our pajamas the morning of Semi-Formal, both in Crowe. Crowe was a place for us to be able to hang out and get to know each other without any pressure. I have just as many guy friends as I do girl friends, and because of The Village, I bet I could name every student in my grade. When I’m a senior, I want it to be the norm that girls can hang out with boys, go to breakfast, and even get parietals with them without everyone immediately thinking that they’re hooking up. I hope future classes will appreciate The Village as much as I did.
Bayard Demallie ’19 Contributing Writer
After living in The Village for a year, I have come to the conclusion that although The Village made it easier to create a tightly knit class and bridge the gender divide, there were many more repercussions.
As new students, freshmen should be housed as close to the center of campus as possible. By isolating the freshmen, an environment in which some freshmen feel as if they do not need to involve themselves in the community is created.
For example, there is always a group of kids who rarely go to dances and are always in their rooms. It is totally fine if someone does not want to go to a dance, but these same kids are also the ones who skip other events like KFC and pep rallies.
Having freshmen in the center of campus and living with sophomores would work to end this practice. Freshmen would be more inclined to get involved in the community and would adapt to Deerfield more easily.
Over the course of this year, it seems that The Village has created the idea that freshmen don’t need to participate in schoolwide activities and can stay in the Village instead.
As a result, there is a divide between those who do not leave The Village and those who do. So by helping the gender divide in the freshman class, we create another divide. In the end, there will never be a perfect solution, but I don’t think that the Freshman Village is the best one.
Emily Henderson ’19 Contributing Writer
Living in The Village has created an opportunity for our class to interact with greater ease and frequency than any other freshmen class before us. While I believe The Village has achieved some of its proposed goals such as improving the gender divide issue, it has not achieved enough to justify the switch.
For example, friendships and friend groups are often defined by hall in The Village, and it is rare to spend time on a hall other than your own. If the freshmen were to be integrated with sophomores, I think it would help us to branch out and become friends with people outside of our hall as has happened in the past when underclassmen lived together.
Taking away the freshman-sophomore living experience has created fewer opportunities for interaction between the two grades, and both freshmen and sophomores lose out on valuable opportunities to get to know each other.
Although I owe The Village greatly for the freshmen connections it has afforded me this year, reverting to the previous system would be beneficial for future freshmen and sophomores’ living experiences and for the campus community as a whole. The connection between underclassmen formed by living together benefits the entire community, producing a campus where students not only know many people in their grade, but other grades too.