Housing and course registration for incoming First Year Students will be sent out in the summer, usually around mid-July.
The housing questionnaire gets pretty in-depth, from favorite type of music to personal cleanliness and stuff like that, and Student Life will then go through each one and set everybody up with what they think would be the best room and house situation.
The course registration is fairly straightforward. The Dean’s Office will send out a form on which you’ll put around four or five of your top course choices, and then list some alternate courses just in case you don’t make it into one or two of your primary choices. The Fall 2014 hasn’t been released yet, but you can take a look at last fall’s to get a general idea of what kinds of classes are offered.
<3 Kagan ‘16
Freak out no more. The housing questionnaires will be sent to new enrolled students sometime after April 1st- most likely during summer 2014. So in the meantime, you can ease your mind and watch this:
Bennington students living in campus housing should expect to find the following in their room upon arrival:
1. A desk
2. A chair for the desk
3. A dresser
4. A wardrobe (if the room doesn’t have a closet)
5. A bookshelf
6. A chest of three (3) drawers
7. A view
8. A bedframe and mattress.
This is, of course, only a complete list if the room in question is a single room. For double rooms, double everything mentioned above* and add:
9. A roommate.
Matriculated students will be asked to fill out a housing questionnaire, which gives them a chance to specify some preferences about schedule, noise, and lifestyle; this helps the folks at Student Life more ideally match roommate pairs.
*Multiply accordingly if you’re in a triple or a quad. However, the majority of incoming students are placed in doubles with another incoming student. Jussayin.
All of the houses with the exception of the Barnes (70’s) houses have fireplaces. Hence an unofficial Barnes house motto: Fires in our hearts, not in our places. See also: 3rd Street: Lights in our hearts, lights in our ceilings. Although Noyes (I can’t speak for Fels and Sawtell) has been known to play the Yule log on youtube from time to time.
As for roommates, a few people in student life go through and do all the pairings by hand after reading all of the surveys, which ask everything from your favorite types of music to when you go to bed. I can’t say much more than that, but how nice is it that it’s humans (with compassion, empathy etc.) rather than, like, an algorithm. (Is that what other schools do? I don’t know… my school only has 700 people.) They’re able to be really accommodating.
It isn’t impossible, but it is pretty unlikely. For starters, it would depend on availability. You’d have to wait for juniors and seniors to reserve their rooms and then see if there are any left over. (Note that juniors aren’t even guaranteed singles — although I’ve never heard of any not getting one.) Regardless, what makes this difficult is that it’s such a gamble: while you are waiting to hear about all this, you can’t exactly have the back-up plan of already having a room and roommate secured, because then what would your roommate do? And also, everyone would do it if it were easy. Having said all that, I know a few people who have done it.
Also note that with a note from a doctor you can get a medical single. House Chairs also get singles — even if they are sophomores — but that shouldn’t be your reason for applying to that position.
You can ignore everything I just said if you want, because what you should really just do in this situation is email Sam or Sage (our housing goddesses) and talk it through with them. Especially if you are a current student, which I have a hunch you are. That way they can look at the nuances of your situation (ah, the perks of a school of 700).
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. (email@example.com)
Write Sage for Woolley, Franklin, Dewey, Kilpatrick, Bingham, Leigh, Noyes, Fels and Merck. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.