Residential Life at Scripps

Going to college and living independently for the first time can be scary for a lot of people. I know I was a little worried about rooming with somebody I’d never met and of communal bathrooms. Scripps is a very residential campus; 95% of our students live in school-sponsored housing, and all the other Claremont colleges have a similarly high percentage of students living in campus-sponsored housing. Because of our high residential rate, social lives, in the forms of meals with friends, clubs, and other activities happen on one of the five campuses.

My first year at Scripps was online, so I was not on campus until my sophomore year. Because of this, I didn’t know a lot of people and decided to use a random roommate placement. I filled out a survey early in the summer that asked questions like what time you get up/go to bed, how messy you are, what kind of relationship you want with your roommate(s), best friends, friendly or strictly cordial cohabitation, etc. My sophomore year is somewhat similar to what the first-year experience is like. Typically, first-year students are placed in triples (three people to a room) and are assigned random roommates based on the questionnaire. Typical of sophomore year rooming, I was placed in a double with a sink but a communal bathroom down the hall. The roommate that was randomly assigned to me was lovely. We became really good friends, and our living styles complemented each other, making for a very pleasant living situation. As a junior now, I still hang out with my roommate from last year, despite no longer living together. 

For my junior year, I applied to live in the French language living-learning community instead of participating in room draw. The application process included a form with questions and a follow-up interview if they felt you might be a good fit. For the application, they are looking for students who are truly interested and invested in participating in the language and the community aspect of the hall. A benefit of living in a language hall is you get to live in a single. 

Though I’ve only lived in a double and a single with communal bathrooms, there are a few other different layouts that school-sponsored housing can look like. As I previously wrote, first years are typically in triples and sophomores in doubles with a sink in your room but use a communal bathroom down the hall (toilets, sinks, and showers). By the time you reach junior and senior year, there’s more flexibility in what your accommodations can look like because you have a higher ranking in the lottery system of room draw. These options include jack and jill style, where you have two single rooms with a shared bathroom and suites with 5-7 singles that share a bathroom and a common space. There are also Route Apartments on campus, which have four singles and a kitchen/living room. Additionally, we have off-campus housing (still school-sponsored). These can look like studio apartments or apartments that have two separate rooms with a shared bathroom and kitchen/common space. For this type of off-campus housing, there is a shuttle back and forth, making campus accessible without a car. 

There are twelve residence halls on campus. Each has a different personality and flair because they were built at different times during college’s existence, but they still share a few common features. All residence halls have a living room and rec room, which are spaces with couches; the rec room is more relaxed with the TV students plug their computers into to watch on a larger screen, and the living room is a bit more formal and includes a grand piano. The piano is a tradition going back to the early days of Scrippswhen it was a requirement to play piano to graduate (I’m lucky this no longer applies ). The residence halls also have browsing rooms, which are communal libraries and study spaces. There is also at least one, if not multiple, kitchens in each hall. They have all the utensils and pans, etc., you would need to make food for yourself if that’s something you’re interested in. There is also a computer lab and, of course, a laundry room. 

Outside of the physical spaces of residential life, we also have residential coordinators (RCs) and Community coordinators (CCs) who live in student housing. Residential coordinators are responsible for residential hall events and serve as liaisons between students and administrative staff. CCs are responsible for creating a community in the dorms; they hold office hours every week with fun activities. One CC this semester is “Tea and Glee,” where, as the title says, they watch the TV show Glee and drink tea. Another example is a weekly friendship bracelet/embroidery activity. Outside of the weekly events, they sometimes have larger dorm events. My dorm had a tote bag painting event, a karaoke night, a Just Dance night, and an ice cream social (with non-dairy options). 

Thanks for reading my blog. If you have any questions about residential life at Scripps or anything else, please feel free to contact me: [email protected] (I love to get emails).