Opinion Asks: The Impact of Founders Day

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 2/28/16 7:00pm

Did Founders Day change your percep on of the house community system?

In my view, Founders Day exceeded expectations. Students packed the lobby of the library set up with tables from end to end. There was excitement as friends were sorted into houses and new housemates met for the first time (go School House!) The event clearly was the result of hours of dedicated work. While some people will mock the scarves and t-shirts and letters pressed with strangely ornate seals, I believe that the people who worked to put Founder’s Day together did a good job. Faculty conversed lucidly with students. Free stuff was given out. And yes, Founders Day seems strange, à la “Let’s create a holiday and celebrate it tomorrow!” And yes, I’m aware that as an underclassman I will probably reap the most benefit from the change. But,new traditions need to start somewhere. As turbulent as the response has been from students leading up to Founders Day, I believe the night was a success.

-Ben Szuhaj ’19

The house system reminds me of Harry Potter. Seeing the event play out, with the formal letters, the house gear, and the midnight breakfast, certainly reinforced the way I imagine the house system. I think having a Founders’ Day was a great idea. Still, I can’t help but wonder if this event was well-scheduled — the fall term, with a fresh class of students and more upperclassmen on campus, would have been a better time to launch the house system.

-Reem Chamseddine ’17

I was actually not present at the Founders Day events because Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra had a rehearsal for our concert the following day. Instead, I coerced my friend into grabbing me some free stuff. I was relatively nonchalant about the event, more excited about the free apparel than the idea of actually finding out my house. However, when I returned home, tired, sleepy and a bit sick, I found my letter and assorted house items on my bed. I felt a strange and unexpected sense of pride rush through me. I was in South House! Whatever that meant. This was the first time that the house communities seemed real to me. Before Founders Day, I was nervous and annoyed at how students had become guinea pigs in a College-wide housing experiment. That being said, now I feel like the communities are a positive addition to Dartmouth. Founders Day made me realize that the house communities don’t really affect us as in a negative way. In fact, it’s very difficult to not feel at least some sort of spirit for our new houses. Overall, I’m relatively optimistic about the start of the house communities next fall — even though I may end up living in the Lodge

-Dorothy Qu ’19