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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Mac students make themselves at home


Dorm rooms and apartments offer a blank canvas for creativity. From the small confines of a single in Dupre to an expansive off-campus apartment, these students inject their personality through decoration. While the aesthetics vary, all the rooms showcase the characters and aspirations of their residents. According to Emma Pulido ’14, decorating “is important, especially on campus because you feel like it’s yours.” Echoing this sentiment, many students have gone out of their way make their spaces very much their own.


When sophomores Hannah Buffenbarger, Scott Dixon, Allen Zhu, Mark Luth, Noah Lupu-Gladstein and Naomi Guttman began the room selection process during late spring semester, they were doubly lucky.

They received the top spot in the room draw, allowing them to snag a coveted suite in George Draper Dayton Hall (GDD). And perhaps more importantly, they unintentionally selected rooms divided along the lines of Harry Potter Houses, separating into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

Earlier that year they had all been “sorted” by Pottermore (J.K. Rowling’s online Harry Potter universe) and began forming their house identities. It was after they had completed room draw, however, that the sophomores realized the coincidence in their arrangement. “It came out by freak opportunity. It solved itself and felt natural,” Buffenbarger said.

After this realization, the suitemates felt they had to represent their house allegiance in decoration. Guttman designed a specialty crest, transforming the Macalester shield to display the logos of the four houses. It hangs proudly on the suite’s main door, while each room’s door features a shield for its specific house.

“It’s definitely caused schisms, but it’s pretty humorous,” Buffenbarger said of the suite’s layout. “We could try to do a more unified Harry Potter theme but that would involve bloodshed and war.”

The suitemates are thinking of expanding their décor in the coming months, possibly finding a life-sized picture of a troll for the bathroom. The Slytherin faction of the suite hopes to buy both a green and a grey fish to show their spirit.

Although the sophomores joke about their house feuds, their general love for Harry Potter eclipses any real discord.


The singles of Dupre, nicknamed Dupringles, receive quite a bit of criticism for their space constraints and cold cinder block walls. But according to Brooke Collins ’16, these small spaces are filled with aesthetic promise.

“A lot of people are turned away from Dupringles, but I’m like, ‘No, they can be awesome!’” Collins said.

Collins’ single was a labor of love. A self-proclaimed craft-addict, she spent all summer planning and preparing for the move-in. Taking advantage of the cohesive space, she selected a color scheme and began researching on Pinterest for design ideas.

She purchased wallpaper and started sifting through antique shops for hidden gems. After thirty-six hours of work in total and two carloads of possessions, Collins finished her space. She does not plan to modify the decoration throughout the year.

“I don’t miss home so much if I have a space that’s truly my own,” said Collins. “I spend a lot of time in here, so I wanted it to be very homey.”

The effort has paid off for Collins. She has received much praise of her room, dubbed the “best Dupre single ever,” from passersby. Collins has transformed her 14×7 foot space from single to Shangri-La.


Occasionally Luc Bokor-Smith ’17 hits his leg on the giant, 21-pound disco ball hanging from his bed. But in his eyes, the party merits the pain.

“What I’ve noticed is people don’t really loosen up. We wanted to change that,” Bokor-Smith said.

With this goal in mind, Bokor-Smith and his roommate Remy Eisendrath ’17 purchased the disco ball and various party lights from Amazon. The investment, although far from cheap, was a good one for the roommates. “You could eat a week of Café Mac for what it cost, but let’s just say it was worth it,” Bokor-Smith said.

Eisendrath and Bokor-Smith have adopted the motto of “work hard, play hard,” and hope to share this philosophy with as many people as possible.

“We want people to hear music and see lights and get people out of their shells,” said Eisendrath. They describe their aesthetic as “70s rager.”

The light show is visible from outside the dorm. So if you see blue, red, and green colors flash from a window, chances are it’s coming from Turck 305.


Seniors Emily Wade and Emma Pulido have a long decorating history together. They have been roommates for three of their four years at Mac, from a freshman dorm to an off-campus space. Along the way, they formed a unique style and created a large collection of meaningful possessions.

“The cool thing about living together is that we use the same things in different ways,” Pulido said. Although their aesthetics differ, the seniors play off each other’s distinct styles and share a mutual love of “pretty little things.”

This year, a large apartment off-campus with more rooms posed new challenges. Wade and Pulido decided to give each space a different mood. However, the common element throughout the entire space is the importance of each item. “Most of the stuff I have is incredibly personal,” Wade said.

The girls are particularly fond of the tapestries and collages on the walls. But more important than the decoration is the process, which becomes a bonding experience each year.

“People really identify us with our decorations. They couldn’t wait to come see the house,” said Wade. Although it is their last year together, Wade and Pulido plan to continue to personalize their space and expand their collections.

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