As you might already know, Denison is growing significantly in student population. This year a notably large first-year class has come to The Hill, but what you may not know is that the transfer student class size has also increased- increased so much that Housing & Operations has been forced to place roughly 21% of the entering Fall 2018 class in the same room together over at Huffman Hall — where its inhabitants (myself included) refer to it as the “Huffman Orphanage” because it looks similar to an actual orphanage: a single converted room with five students living inside of it. I have been here for one semester. Here is my story.

My four roommates and I live in a single large room together. Four of us are transfer sophomores/juniors, and one is a senior. Arriving to Denison for Aug-O was the best part. According to the website, all rooms in Huffman Hall were recently renovated with new furniture and flooring, and I was pumped to move into a nice room at my new university. When I walked into Huffman with bags in hand last August, however, I was quite surprised to find myself in a single shabby room with 6 beds inside it. Oh, I forgot to mention — our room was actually listed as a six-person room. Yeah, that’s right: six boys in one room together. While luckily only four of us moved in at that time, the later addition of our fifth roommate prompted us to speak with Housing & Operations. With some outside help, we convinced them to whittle it down to a maximum of five occupants: an example of Housing & Operation’s abundant generosity.

So five boys living in a room together… yeah it’s a time. The room itself is pretty terrible: the heat never stops, we don’t have our own bathroom, and it took months before we received access to cable. Oh, and we wake each other up ALL THE TIME. It’s crazy when you think about it — from having only 1 roommate last year, the opportunities to disrupt my sleep now have been multiplied by four. And my bed is next to the door, so I hear its loud slamming every time someone closes it. But there is also a compromise here. Although my bed is near this loud door, I face away from it and don’t have to deal with the light that floods in when it opens; my roommates on the other side of the room facing me deal with this bright light… it’s really a strategy game when you think about it (see the provided diagram).

Don’t even get me started on the smell.

In all seriousness, however, I have been extremely lucky. My four roommates and I get along quite well and spend plenty of time outside of the room together. We are all very excited and grateful for our new home at Denison, and I am especially thankful for Housing & Operations’ help with fixing/moving furniture and helping us accommodate. If you’re ever interested to see what the Huffman Orphanage is like, we offer room tours on Friday and Saturday afternoons from 2-3 pm; they cost $5 and last roughly thirty minutes.