Students Sleep on the Streets as All Dorms Are Closed Due to Coronavirus Threats

Students Sleep on the Streets as All Dorms Are Closed Due to Coronavirus Threats-Queen Quince

Residents of North Hall evacuating to sleep on the streets.

Residents of Cartwright preparing to camp out.

In the weeks leading up to the closing of campus due to the novel coronavirus, the dorms were preemptively closed amid concerns that COVID-19 could spread rapidly in the dormitory environment. As a result, boarders found themselves sleeping on the streets of campus. Mrs. Skinner announced the new policy by saying, “This is designed to keep all of you safe, and it will also help you develop that all-important resilience and grit!”

One Woodhouse resident praised the move: “I don’t have to worry about having to wake up in the middle of the night and go out to the street when the fire alarm goes off – I’m already here!” The girls of Ells 3 were also excited about the new policy; as one freshman put it, “Instead of walking up and down two flights of stairs to get to my dorm, I can come right from sports and chill on the ground level. It’s great! Plus, it’s about 20 steps from my new bedroom on College Street to the dining hall!”

Despite all the benefits of students sleeping outdoors, there were some drawbacks as well. The deans were forced to add “Locker Rooms” as a valid Boardingware location during Study Hours, as lines for the locker room showers were out the doors. Day students also complained when they were unable to reach the MAC parking lot before school started. “I’ve had it with these boarders who think they can wake up 3 minutes before class starts and not inconvenience anyone else!” ranted Noah Luch ’20, “I’ve gotta get my car to the MAC, but the entire population of Ellsworth is blocking College Street! I ended up leaving my car in the middle of the street so I wouldn’t miss my test first period.”

“This policy is simply an attempt to spark joy among students,” explained Mrs. Buck, “Sleeping in one area with no walls to separate us leads to an increased sense of community. It will help protect us from the threat of this virus and give students a chance to connect with one another before we have to cancel classes.”


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