It is true, but only if you request it. What I mean is that you will not be placed with a guy if you are a girl unless you specifically choose to. I live with a guy but I was placed with girl (fellow intern and all around lovely lady Julia Hankin) and then ended up deciding to move in with guy. We do have communal co-ed bathrooms, but each shower is private, behind a curtain and a door so, not to fret.
My fellow Admissions intern Evan wrote a great post about the roommate process here. But just to add on to that: If you and your roommate are experiencing a lifestyle clash (or worse yet, a musical one), you have around a month or so to change roommates or even houses. The Office of Student Life deals with that stuff, and the process is fairly simple as long as you’re open and communicative with them.
Howdy. So, first of all, the rooming process is something that’s highly personalized and considered for each student. Before you arrive at Bennington, you fill out a housing application to Student Life where you’re asked questions about things like: when you go to bed, when you wake up, how messy you are, what you like to do for fun, etc. etc. ad infinitum. The idea is for Student Life to get the best sense of your personality that they can from the application.
From there, the Dean of Students reads each application and pairs each student up with a roommate (in relatively rare cases, students can be placed in triples or quads; but speaking as someone who has lived in both, I’ve never really lacked for floorspace in either situation). From that initial pairing, the Dean takes the roommates and places them in houses that fit their lifestyles as best as possible.
Another component to the roommate thing is that every semester you and your roommate will write a Roommate Agreement with one another, as facilitated by your House Chairs. The agreement offers a really good chance for you and your roommate to have an open dialogue about what your values are, how you’ll solve disagreements, and what your policies are on guests, noise, and mess. Having that direct line of communication, in my experience, has always been a really valuable resource in ensuring a harmonious living situation.
Believe me, I know the feeling. I was also initially placed in a triple, and flipped out because I didn’t even know how I was going to live with ONE other person in a room, let alone TWO PEOPLE. As someone who has always had my own room at home, and truly valued my “alone time” I was sure I was going to get overwhelmed by living with two others. But guess what? I survived! And not only did I make it through that first term, I enjoyed it as well (and continued to live in the triple for another year!!) I think it’s important to remember that no matter what type of housing situation you encounter (double, triple, quad), the key to success is communication with your roommate(s). During the first few weeks of school you actually write a roommate agreement in which you detail times for study, play, sleep, etc. as well as proposing a general noise level that everyone is okay with & what respect means to you (in terms of personal belongings). So you DO have the opportunity to talk about all these things right from the start.
Also, your house chairs are there to listen and to help, so if, after a few weeks, you are truly unhappy (I hope not!) you can always talk to them about what to do. They really are there to be those amazing resources, especially for situations that tend to arise out of community living. I’ve seen house chairs be roommate mediators & confidants many times before.
Something else to consider: You and your roommates will probably all have different schedules. There will most likely be times when everyone else is gone! Additionally, if you need to escape your room, there are countless places to do so (library, secret garden, your common room, student center, commons lawn…). And believe me, even those placed in doubles (heck, even when I’m feeling trapped in my single) will need to do this at some point too.
And, as always, if you need to talk to someone here about your anxiety be in touch with psychological services (x4451) anytime.
P.S. triples & quads (from what I’ve seen and lived in) are the BIGGEST rooms, generally at the end of a hallway which means you have a semi-private bathroom as well. Woo!
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.
Yes. There are six quads - all in the 70s houses - that are four-person rooms. Having lived in one myself, I can say that they are absolutely massive and perfectly suitable for a four-person living situation. The 70s houses also have what are commonly referred to as the upstairs quads, which are four separate rooms that converge around a shared common room. As far as I know, freshmen aren’t placed into these quads, so it’s a safe bet that if you’re placed in a quad it will be one of the downstairs ‘studio’ quads.
To be honest, I’m not sure where we’d find the housing questionnaire from this past year or whether or not it changes a bunch from year to year. I think I can give you an idea of how they match you up, though.
Basically, they ask you questions like:
And then you’re also (if I remember correctly) given the opportunity to write in some sort of summary of yourself in order to give a sense of your personality and how you relate things. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the questions they ask, but I’m fairly sure it’s mostly correct, so.
Essentially it’s a pretty comprehensive survey and I think from what I’ve seen that people who are honest and thorough in their answers get placed in living situations that work out really well for them. I hope this helps give a sense of how the housing process works!
The word from Student Life is sometime in mid-July, barring any sorta delays. So, probably not for at least another week or two. Just a heads-up, though: in Admissions, I/we only know as much about housing/roommates/classes as the incoming freshmen do, so we will probably never be a great resource to ask about things like that.
Your best bet (assuming that you’re an incoming freshman) for that kind of information is either to ask around on the Class of 2016 Facebook group or call the office of Student Life at (802)-440-4330. I’d say give it another couple of weeks before you start making phone calls though - it’ll all be worth it, I promise.
Hey there! Glad you found us.
So, first of all, all our ‘houses’ are technically dorms. They can each house roughly 35 students each, and they are all maintained and cleaned by the College. The reason I think you might have been confused is that most students typically refer to the dorms as houses - they look and feel less institutional and more home-y, so it’s basically just semantics. But yes! Houses = Dorms, in Bennington parlance.
Roommates are chosen and placed by Student Life on the basis of a housing survey that asks questions like: ‘when do you go to bed/wake up?’ ‘what music/movies do you like/dislike?’ ‘what are you looking for in a house/roommate?’ I always say it’s kind of like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, honestly. No one knows for sure whether it’s an art or a science. What’s cool is that each house has its own personality that forms from the community living in it, which results in residents taking a lot of pride in the house they live in.
Finally, girls and guys are not roomed together by default. While it is totally fine to reserve a room with a member of the opposite sex, Student Life doesn’t do it randomly; you have to specifically request a roommate of the opposite gender.
Hope this helped!
Yes! Every student who sends in their deposit will receive all their info regarding housing and stuff sometime in mid-May. In that newsletter, there will be a rooming survey which tries to get at the heart of YOU. That is, you’ll answer questions like, ‘what kind of music do you like to listen to? (Pavement is the best answer),’ ‘when do you usually go to bed?’ ‘how messy/neat are you?’ and things like that. The survey is really quite expansive and the more honest you are, the better you’ll be able to be paired with a roommate.
Something neat about this process is that our Dean of Students actually goes through and reads each individual housing application so that she can pair them up best with a roommate who most closely fits their preferences. Each roommate pair is then placed into a house that also best fits their listed preferences. It’s a really fun, personal process that I can’t describe as anything other than ‘Sorting Hat-esque.’
In short, the better a description you can give of yourself on the housing survey (arriving mid-May for deposited students), the better the chances will be that you and your roommate will make beautiful music together.
Speaking of beautiful music: Pavement. Yes. My favorite band. I’ve been listening my way through the Wowee Zowee special edition for the past 6 months or so, and it’s really blowing my mind, but I’m not sure any of their albums can dethrone the Brighten the Corners Nicene Creedence ed. for the ‘my favorite Pavement album’ title. I dunno if you’re an accepted student for this coming year, but if you’re in the Official Bennington 2016 Facebook Group, you should make a post about how awesome Pavement is, because I will be all over that.
Hope that helps (and congrats on having excellent taste)!