Building a Better Dorm Life

If you ask ten random Claremont McKenna College students what their favorite thing about our school is, my bet is that at least half of them will say the sense of community that pervades campus.  After all, who doesn’t like seeing friends every time you walk to class or being able to walk into a dining hall alone and always finding a group to sit with?  Another great way that CMC communities can manifest themselves, and what I hope will this year become the most prominent way, is through your dorm.

Each of our fourteen dorms has everything needed to build the strongest communities on campus.  Every dorm has great people, great ideas, and great space; all your friends are just a quick jaunt down the hall.  And every dorm could have a stronger sense of community than it does now.  Here are some of the ways that we are building better dorm life this year:


Intramurals.  Last year we didn’t even have dorm intramural teams, and in years past they had been getting progressively less attention.  But this year we have re-instated dorm intramural teams, and everyone can play!  If your thing is football, soccer, or anything in between (read: innertube water polo) your Dorm Championship Series for that league is going on now!  Every dorm has a team, so if you’re not already reading your RA’s e-mails about those games, grab a quick word with your dorm jock or bra about when the next one is or checkout the Facebook group, and come out to support your dorm!  And if playing isn’t your thing there can never be too many fans, especially with all those Mudders coming out in droves.


Dorm events.  Every dorm is having at least one dorm event every other week, so it should be easy to get out and mingle with your extended roomies at least a few times this semester!  These dorm events can be anything from pre-games to dorm snacks to TNCs.  You may make dorm shirts, have barbeques or dorm meals, get subsidized concert or event tickets, or play broomball with that dorm across the quad.  These events are the perfect chance to get to know your hallmates, the girls upstairs or guys downstairs, and that kid in the corner room who you can’t believe you haven’t met yet. So get out to all of the events that you can!

Keeping up traditions.  For instance, Thursday Night Club is one of our best traditions, but every year it is in danger of getting shut down.  I’m working closely with the Dean of Students Office to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.  Also, having TNCs all throughout the quads as well as in new spaces is another priority of mine this year.  So be on the lookout for TNCs in south, mid, and north quads, as well as other new places around campus!

These are just some of the things, that we are doing to further dorm life this year at CMC.  It all comes down to one main goal: I want dorms to be like families.  No matter where your best friends live, you should always feel comfortable as an integral part of your own dorm community.  So I ask two favors of you all:  first, get to know everyone in your dorm.  Don’t just stick to the friends you moved in with; make an effort to meet everyone else.  Your dorm events are for your whole dorm, so never feel shy about going to one, even if you go alone.  Once you get there, you won’t have any problem finding people to hang out with—everyone is nice!  And if you’re at a dorm event and you see someone you don’t know, introduce yourself!  The first step to a tight community is to know each other. And second—take pride in your dorm!  Every dorm has something awesome about it. Claremont Hall?  Yeah, you’re the nicest dorm on campus and everyone knows it. And it may be nicknamed “the Dirty Berg,” but Berger has one of the strongest and most welcoming communities on campus.  No matter if you live in the Apartments, Stark, Green, off-campus, or anywhere in between, you can be proud of where you live, and the strong community that you’re fostering there.  So own it!  And if you have any ideas or questions about anything, you can always talk to your Dorm Presidents, and you can always contact me (