Posts tagged houses

I am a creative person who loves creativity, specifically writing and dance, and likes thinking critically. I love being around artistic people but also need time by myself to think and write. Do you think i would fit into Bennington? Also, I'm a pretty sensitive sleeper so i was wondering what would be the least noisiest house? — Asked by Anonymous

Yes? I don’t see why you wouldn’t. Creativity is our thing, but not just in writing and dance…creative problem solving is a part of all disciplines, not just the arts. There is also a lot of reading, writing and thinking. Traditionally, these activities can be done in solitude or in the company of others.

Franklin is a 24hr quiet house, and a bunch of other houses set quiet hours as a community: on 3rd street, Noyes, Sawtell, Perkins and Merck — PB and Fels don’t (to my knowledge — I might be wrong, but it’s roughly that ratio). So really, you’ll find your place. All are varying degrees of quiet and houses choose their quiet hours as a community. Note that all houses are courtesy houses, meaning if there’s an issue you can knock on your neighbors door and chat about it and they HAVE TO BE NICE (and then solve the issue).

Alan ‘15

What is the difference between all the houses at BC. Can you describe each one? — Asked by Anonymous

There’s 18 houses on campus, plus 2 smaller ones on the edge of campus, plus one house off campus. I will tell you about them ALL! Via arthropomorphization.(made-up word courtesy of campus safety officer Mike, we think it should mean the act of assigning animals to things that are not animals)

First, The Colonials.

Swan — a swan

Woolley — a panda

Stokes — an opossum

Franklin — an owl

Canfield — flock of geese

Dewey — a labrador

Booth — zebras

Kilpat(rick) — an orangutan

Welling — a great blue heron

Bingham — a horse

McCullough — a macaw

Leigh — an indoor/outdoor cat

The 70’s Houses

Sawtell — a turtle

Fels — an ostrich

Noyes — a friendly moth

The New Houses

Perkins — a kangaroo

Merck — New Jersey (credit: Alan Dupont)

Paris-Borden —a golden retriever

Other houses

Shingle — a horseshoe crab

Longmeadow — a wallabee

Townhouse — penguins

Everybody else — a walrus

For you from the small but fiesty Tuesday morning crew.


The colonial-style houses (one of three types of houses) had their doors repainted last term, and some of them are particularly striking. I will post a photo per day of each of the colonial doors.

This is Woolley. 

-Kate D. ‘14

What are in the dorms (what are they furnished with) before students move in and what would you suggest bringing (besides lamps)? — Asked by Anonymous

We answered this a little bit here, and linked to other places so you can go on a little treasure hunt if you want.

All of the rooms have a bed (two sets of posts that you can raise or lower to your liking — great for storage underneath), a dresser, a desk with a chair and a little bookshelf per person. We do some crazy things with them. So here it is Alan’s interior design hacks: I don’t use my desk (its too confining for my delicate creative process…or something) so I turned it on its side and made an avant-garde shelf. Perfect for a turntable. If you are in one of the 70’s houses, you can tuck your desk or dresser away in your closet. Also make a Zen bed experience. Here is a diagram.

-Alan ‘15 


Because Benington students live in houses, can students leave their belongings in the bathroom, like shampoo and such, or should we purchase a shower cady to bring things to and from the bathroom? — Asked by Anonymous

Honestly, you can do whichever you feel comfortable with. I personally leave all of my stuff in the bathroom, but by doing that I take the slight chance that my shampoo, toothpaste, etc. will get used. However, because there are about six people per bathroom, if something of yours is disappearing faster than you’re using it, it’s pretty easy to talk to those you share with.

To see some photos that Evan took of the bathrooms on campus last summer, look here:

- Rachel ‘14

Are the kitchens in the dorms stocked with kitchen ware or do people bring whatever they think they'll need. Are there tea kettles? Coffee pots? Baking pans. — Asked by Anonymous

That really depends on your house. I’ve cooked in Franklin, Woolley, Sawtell, and Perkins which all have the basics but you might not be as lucky in Kilpat or Stokes. Some people bring their own kitchen swag but I think it comes down to creativity. As my friend Carlos once said: “True college students eat out of a pot.”

-Selina ‘15


I'm sure this has been asked before, but can you tell me a little bit about all of the different houses? Can I request to live in a specific one? — Asked by Anonymous


It’s really hard to describe each house because they are each so defined by the people who call them home. Because of that, a house personality can change each year to fit its residents. Every single house has it’s own perks and quirks and there is no doubt that you’ll find the right one for you! The main differentiation between houses is quiet hours. Each house has either no set quiet hours, extended quiet hours, or some quiet hours as decided by the house at the beginning of term. So just keep in mind how heavy a sleeper you are.

While there is an option for incoming freshman to request a house, there is no guarantee they’ll be placed in that house because there are so many other variables in the process. If you want my advice, let the office of student life do their sorting hat thing. I was placed in a house that I NEVER would have picked for myself, but they seemed to know me better than I did from my housing questionnaire and now I’m a House Chair and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

P.S. If you’re not digging your house, it is extremely easy to bop around to one that suits your fancy more.

- Sarah ‘15

It was a slooooooooooooow day in Admissions so we thought we’d go out and photograph some rooms for ya’ll in the various houses. Some are clean, some are messy, some are doubles and some are singles.

- Riley ‘13 & Anushka ‘14

Do you get to pick the house you live in, or is it chosen for you based on your housing packet questions? — Asked by Anonymous

The office of Student Life decides in which house, and with which roommate(s), each incoming freshmen will live. However, to help do that properly, we also ask our newest students to fill out a housing questionnaire that Student Life uses to place freshmen according to their needs and desires. I’d suggest being as honest as possible on your questionnaire, because the more Student Life knows the better they will choose your roommate(s) and your new home. I was honest on mine and I was placed in a house that I love to this day.

Incoming freshmen can also request that they be placed in a certain house—maybe you have a friend who goes here and loves their house’s community—but the Office of Student Life has the final say. And don’t worry! If you and your house are simply incompatible (which happens sometimes, no matter where you go to school), there are opportunities to move into a house that’s right for you.

-Eric ‘13

I heard that House Chairs are the cronies of Student Life. Is this true? — Asked by Anonymous

I’m particularly excited to answer this question as I am a baby house chair myself (I’m almost at the one month mark!) First, I’d like to explain what House Chairs are and why they are.

House Chairs are facilitators of community within their houses. They are hired by the Office of Student Life through a combination of written applications, an interview, and multiple channels of feedback from the house which they would like to represent. They are trained in many safety and community building activities; they ease the transition toBenningtonfor new and returning students, and essentially act as liaisons between Student Life and their houses in order to maintain open lines of communication for continuous conversation. But unofficially, House Chairs are people who are passionate about the unique personality and traditions of their house and the amazing people who live there. This is why I love being a house chair, and why I resent the negative connotation of being seen as a “crony” of the Office of Student Life (the members of which I am proud to say I have great relationships with and the utmost respect for.)

House Chairs have a very precarious position to balance between the realms of student life and their house. When conflicts of interest arise, it is extremely difficult to maintain the sense of objectivity that comes with the job while dealing with issues that closely affect the house you call home and the people who live in it whom you consider to be your extended Bennington family. It is because of all this that I feel the position of House Chair is so important and why I am so proud to call myself one and am extremely (perhaps overly) sensitive to the idea of being someone’s “crony.” Even though Liam pointed out that Merriam-Webster defines crony as a “close friend of long standing: pal” without any mention of negativity.  The Office of Student Life hires us with the knowledge of our house loyalty, and they chose House Chairs because they trust them to know when to make the call to share information or to respect confidentiality. So overall, I think there can be some tension between the goals of student life and the goals of the houses which fluctuates from house to house, house chair to house chair, and situation to situation. But in a way that tension is where the most productive and holistic solutions to problems come from and is how conversations are kept going about important house specific and campus wide issues.

So to officially answer your question: untrue.

-          Sarah ’15, Kilpatrick House Chair

Michael Pollan ‘77 on Coffee Hour

I just found this catalog written called “Students on Bennington” that students in the seventies made for admissions. I was amazed to find this titillating piece by The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan of the class of 1977. What a crazy place this was.

-Ezra ‘13

George catered Coffee Hour last night, and, in typical fashion, really outdid himself. He served four kinds of cheese, bagels, Wheat-Thins, Triscuits, sardines, funny hors d’ourvres of tomato and cheese welded to saltines, tuna salad with far too many onions, and Almaden California Red Burgundy (an unfortunate staple at Dewey House).

Can you tell me about Kilpatrick by any chance? — Asked by Anonymous

Check out Liam’s post about housing! 

Hey Guys! I'm a senior at a Philadelphia Performing Arts High School, and Bennington is my first choice for colleges among the handful that I have chosen. I have a few questions about Bennington that only students could truly answer! First, what is the room mate situation at Bennington? I've looked at the answer for the housing questions, but some seem to have double rooms, some seem to have singles. How does that work? Also, is it easy to find jobs around Bennington? Do most students have jobs? — Asked by Anonymous

Hey, glad to hear you’re a fan.

So freshmen and sophomores are generally in doubles, and juniors and seniors are guaranteed singles.

When you come here as a freshman, you fill out an extensive survey about your habits, likes and dislikes, so that Student Life can do their best to place you with an ideal roommate. After that, for sophomore year, you can choose to live with whoever you want basically.

There are lots of jobs available on campus, and I don’t know what the percentage is, but a lot of students have jobs. Most jobs on campus give priority to students who have Federal Work Study as part of their financial aid package. But their are plenty of jobs available even if you don’t, and working in town is always an option. There are a lot of restaurants around looking for reliable help.


So I know smoking inside the dorms is not allowed, but what about in campus in general? Is it generally okay? — Asked by Anonymous

Yeah, of course! Indoor smoking isn’t allowed anywhere on campus, but pretty much anywhere outdoors is fair game. 

-Evan ‘13

Everything you ever wanted to know about HOUSING!!

Hello lovely incoming freshmen!!

There have been so many housing questions lately, specifically related to wanting pictures of particular rooms in particular houses and descriptions of those houses. While we totally understand how exciting it is to get housing assignments and to be getting ready to move in, we want to leave a little of that excitement in the air for you guys to discover for yourself when you get here! After all, it would be really tough for all of us to give unbiased, meaningful descriptions of houses we don’t even live in or necessarily spend a lot of time in. In the meantime, check out India K’s blog series about Bennington rooms to get a feel for rooms in the three styles of houses. 

There is one thing, however, that I cannot emphasize enough: GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR ROOMMATE(S)!! If you’re planning on bringing any larger items (fridge, fans, floor lamps, nightstand, other furniture, etc.) connect with your roommate first to check in about it (your rooms accommodate furniture for 2+ people already!). Also remember that there are a thousand ways to accumulate so much junk while you’re here…so don’t bring more than you think you need. Also, check out this great post about what to bring, as well as this one about places to buy things once your here.

And, as always, you can check the STUDENT HANDBOOK for rules and regulations regarding particular items that you are thinking of bringing, as well as the Housing section of the Welcome Page

Although we won’t be answering specific housing questions via the blog, if you have any any any concerns please don’t hesitate to call us in the office or get in touch with Student Life:

ADMISSIONS: 802-440-4312


STUDENT LIFE: 802-442-4330

Can’t wait to see you all so soon!!<3

Amira ‘13

Awesome aerial photo of Bennington circa 1933!