Scripps Students to Live in New HMC Dorm

Some Scripps students will experience a slight shift northward next year. 

On Jan. 23, Harvey Mudd College Dormitory Affairs Committee Co-Chairs Marie Kirkegaard HM ’15 and Matt Wilber HM ’16 announced in an email to the student body that approximately 30 Scripps College students will be housed in HMC’s new dorm for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The new dorm will be completed in time for the 2015-2016 academic year. According to the email, Mudd would have had about 57 vacant bed spaces in the new dorm after room draw. Even with Scripps occupying the second floor, HMC will still be left with about 28 vacant beds. 

According to a Sept. 19, 2014 TSL issue, the construction of the new dorm began Sept. 18, 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in August 2015. The new, unnamed residence hall will contain 131 beds, more than the 70 to 80 beds typical of existing HMC residence halls. It will also differ from existing residence halls in its combination of singles, doubles and suites. 

According to the email, Scripps is paying between $250,000 and $300,000 to occupy these rooms on a one-year contract. A new Scripps residential building is set to be completed Fall 2016.

Neither the Scripps nor Harvey Mudd administrations could be reached for comments.

Scripps has been experiencing a housing shortage for the past few years.

“It’s clear that we need housing,” Leah Snider SC ‘16 said.

Scripps has been renting housing at Pomona College’s Smiley Hall, but due to Pomona’s over-enrollment with the class of 2018, the college will be unable to provide housing for Scripps next year. Snider said that even still, many students ended up without on-campus housing during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“I think it was a good 30 people out of my class, and then quite a few sophomores as well,” she said.

Harvey Mudd students have mixed opinions on Scripps students living in the new dorm.

“The argument is that, it’s the nice new dorm, and therefore it should be open for Mudd students specifically,” Jesse Joseph HM ’17 said.

Students are particularly preoccupied about how the situation will affect dorm culture.

“It might be a bit troubling to some as the first year in a dorm is the first year to influence dorm culture and having Scripps students … the culture could get skewed in a way that some might not want it to,” Stephen Schein HM ’16 said.

Schein added that even though the addition of Scripps students might affect dorm culture, it won’t be too impactful since the students are staying only for a year.

The dynamic between Mudd and Scripps students in the new dorm was also a question of concern. According to the email, Scripps has required that a Scripps resident advisor be placed next to the Scripps students even though they would be asked to follow HMC dorm regulations.

“At Mudd, we have very different rules as well, and I’m not sure how that will affect Scripps students,” Schein said.

Gabi Al-Shamma SC ‘15 is the current resident advisor for Scripps students at Smiley Hall on Pomona’s campus. Al-Shamma said that, although it has been a challenge to find a balance between Scripps and Pomona dorm regulations, she has had an overall positive experience despite not initially knowing how to combine Scripps’ and Pomona’s policies in a coherent manner.

“It’s kind of awkward navigating having our own floor with our own kind of policies,” Al-Shamma said. “That said, it’s really cool living at Pomona … It never felt awkward at all.”

Despite differences in Scripps’ and Mudd’s dorm cultures, Al-Shamma anticipates it will be work out nicely.

“People self-select, so I would guess that probably Scripps students will realize what they’re walking into when they decide to live at Mudd,” she said. “It’ll be a cool thing for people.”

Jesse Joseph HM ‘17 maintains a similar optimism.

“If anything, it could be an interesting dynamic,” Joseph said. “I think there’s really no reason to be against it.”

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