Well, you’re in luck! The way housing works here we don’t delineate specific rooms for First Years - you could be living in any of those rooms. However, it is unusual for a First Year to be placed in a single (those are filled by juniors and seniors first). But dream away - any of those doubles could be yours! (In fact, when India did the room series all those who are class of 2015 were freshman)
The best way to get a feel for how Bennington rooms look is to head over to India K.’s Bennington Rooms Series. It should certainly give you an idea of how customizable the rooms are, at the very least. Bennington students really make the rooms here their own, and they’re helped by the fact that the rooms are often kind of unique to begin with. They all come equipped with beds, dressers, desks, and bookshelves, but there are all different sizes and shapes—we have three different styles of house here, and even within houses rooms are frequently very different from each other. My significant other has a huge single in Bingham; my double is small, but there’s nowhere I’d rather live because it comes with easy access to a common room, and a private bathroom (very rare, very beautiful). Aside from the aforementioned furniture essentials, decorating is completely up to you, so you adapt to the space you’ve got. Because my room is so small, I’ve got my bed five feet off the floor and I store my dresser, cookware, and a few other things under it. I’ve also brought in a few extra bookshelves, and put them in the closet. This person wanted to prioritize making her room seem more spacious over storage, so she cut out the extras and put everything on floor level. Another friend of mine (since graduated) turned her room into a tiny movie theatre for weekend parties, with a futon, mini fridge, popcorn machine, and speaker setup. The possibilities are limited only by fire code and floor space.
You’ll never be randomly placed with a co-ed roommate. If two mixed-gender folks realize they’ll be great roomies, they can request to live together on their housing forms.
On the housing form that you fill out the spring/summer before you start school there is a space where you can put in any requests or additional information that you think the office of Student Life should know in order to place you more successfully. If there’s a specific house (or specific style of housing) that you’d really like to live in, you’re welcome to write it in that space. I can’t personally promise any definite results, but it should be taken into consideration by the housing wizards.
- Rachel ‘14
As you said, pretty different in each house and even within houses. I would say the average situation is 4-12 students sharing a bathroom and the size of the facilities varies accordingly. There are some rooms which share a private bathroom with just one other room, but those bathrooms have the toilet and shower and everything all together. There are other bathrooms with two of everything shared by a big hallway of seven people. Totally varies.
In terms of privacy, in the majority of the bathrooms there are private toilet and shower stalls, but you may have to stand next to a friend at the sink. If there aren’t locks on individual stalls, there is a lock on the main door (this is only in very small ones).
It starts to feel like home pretty fast and you’ll get comfortable bumping into people (figuratively…literally bumping into them will still be uncomfortable). In my little 70’s house hall, we are on different enough schedules that its never too crowded, and if it is you can just use the next one over.
You should note that they are co-ed. Parke’s got your co-ed concerns covered here.
Liam started writing this and Alan finished. Where was the jump? Can you tell? weeee
We’ve gotten quite a few questions about housing from future first-year students. Specific ones: what is Sawtell like? General ones: Do we have chairs? Both kinds, you should feel free to be in contact with either Sam or Sage, housing gurus.
Write Sam for Swan, Stokes, Canfield, Booth, Welling, McCullough, Sawtell, Perkins, and Paris-Borden. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Write Sage for Woolley, Franklin, Dewey, Kilpatrick, Bingham, Leigh, Noyes, Fels and Merck. (email@example.com)
On top of that, you should feel free to contact your house chairs. You should have their names and you can get their emails within the Bennington database (type the name into an email once you are logged into your Bennington email). We’re happy to answer your questions here, but we aren’t the people you’ll be interacting with during the term (not about housing stuff anyway). Now is a great chance to reach out so you can have a nice, easy, smooooth transition.
The person to bookshelf to chair to dresser to desk to bed ratio is 1:1:1:1:1:1.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the first few weeks of life on campus, specific house cultures, parties, registration mishaps and orientation. Don’t panic. We’ve all been there and we get it. Looking back, here’s what we wish we had known.
I asked this question over a lovely lunch with some student life ladies ;) ~you know who you are~ They said if a form was turned in late, they did their best to honor requests on the forms, but because so much of placement was already done there are no guarantees. Gotta say, though, I live in a 70’s house and I wouldn’t trade my closets and windows for anything. All of the houses have different pros and cons and it takes a while to figure ‘em out. Don’t put all eggs in one colonial basket.
Almost everybody. There’s a handful of people who live in apartments or houses off campus as well as 31 of us who live in college owned houses that are either on the edges of campus or in North Bennington. The campus experience is a big part of Bennington and the different housing communities accommodate a variety of lifestyles. Even though I moved to the Welling Townhouse in North B. I really love spending time in Franklin where I was placed as a freshmen.
All pertinent dates regarding incoming students can be found at this link http://www.bennington.edu/welcome.aspx under the Checklist: Tools & Timelines section. All incoming freshmen should be getting their housing and roommate assignments as well as their course pre-registration sometime in mid-July.
- Rachel ‘14
Don’t worry! If it still hasn’t come through in a couple of days I recommend shooting your councilor an email or giving the office a call: 800-833-6845. You’ll have plenty of time to fill everything out. In the meantime…
Very shortly (i.e. sometime in mid May!) you’ll get an email with lots of info, forms, and stuff to fill out. Included in there is a housing form where you jot down lifestyle specifics such as when you go to bed/get up, what music you love, what music you hate, how messy you keep your space, things like that. If I remember right I think I put down I’m an early to bed, early to rise, extremely tidy, person who can only sleep in complete darkness and that instead of music I obsessively listen to NPR. Yes I am a total nerd.
Anyways, after gathering all this info the office of student life will pair you with a roommate they think you are compatible with and then a housing community where you seem to fit! Hope this helps!
Also for your enjoyment…
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
Hello. Space heaters are definitely not allowed in rooms but the houses are perfectly toasty as each room has it’s own heating system for you to crank up on chilly nights. I would definitely recommend bringing a fan though - air circulation is a must in the hotter months.
- Sarah ‘15