Mudd’s New Dorm

Harvey Mudd is growing. As class sizes start increasing, the dorms are feeling more of a squeeze, and Brighton Park (Mudd’s overflow housing) is seeing more students. As a response to this, a new dorm will be built ready for housing students in Fall of 2015.

Several planning forums of students, faculty, and staff met over this past year to discuss what kind of dorm ought to be built. The biggest concern was whether the new dorm should have suite-centered rooms (like Atwood or Linde) or hallways (like Case). Most students supported their own home dorm style, and neither style was clearly more preferred. Although the forum was not conclusive in this respect, helpful ideas were bounced around.

Sontag, built in 2004, is the college's newest dorm.
Sontag, built in 2004, is currently college’s newest dorm.

Several weeks ago the architect released the floor plans of the new dorm: It will be three stories, U-shaped like most other dorms, but one wing will contain hallways while the other will be suites. This compromise caused some worry as to how the dorm could define its culture having such different styles under one roof. Mudd is known for its unique dorm culture, and many students are of the opinion that this culture is essential on campus. The two wings are connected by a two story tall lounge, with mostly glass paneling. The lounge will contain a large kitchen and two study rooms next door.

“It won’t be any different from, say Atwood or Linde, where each suite has its own culture,” sophomore Miranda Thompson said. “I don’t think the difference in style will be an issue, since it clearly hasn’t in Atwood or Linde.”

On the floor plans that were released, students were encouraged to write suggestions for improvement. Students gathered around and discussed the floor plans, commenting on things like lounge space, bathroom capacity, and overall design.

One important suggestion was that the new dorm ought to have warts. There has been a trend in the newer buildings on campus for a lack of warts, leaving students unsure of their identity and generally confused. The architect has promised warts, so I’m excited.

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