Tent City, Hanover

by John Haskell | 5/10/00 5:00am

Please let me move in with you. I'll push all my things into a corner. That'll be my little area. Please? I won't bother you. You don't even have to look at me. Just let me move in with you please." These are the immortal words of the Herlihy Kid that Adam Sandler played in a skit for Saturday Night Live. However, I think they are also applicable in a situation that is far more relevant to Dartmouth.

You see, our esteemed president, Mr. James Wright, lives in an obscenely big house. In fact, it offends me how big his house is. Now, granted, James Wright is a very big man. And his needs are great. However, his house is too big for even him and his needs -- along with his wife.

Amid all the Student Life Initiative controversy, we are forced to ask ourselves why the school set up such stringent regulations on fraternities. It seems pretty clear that the school does not intend for all the fraternities to meet these regulations, and that they are for some reason committed to the untimely demise of many a house.

Elsewhere in the universe, college officials are soiling their pants worrying about the housing crunch. As of yesterday, 600 '03s are homeless in the fall. What the hell. It would be one thing for an urban college to have a large homeless population, but Dartmouth? Who will these paupers beg money from? More importantly, where will they sleep? As far as I know, Hanover does not have enough sewer grates and benches to accommodate a homeless population of 600. I guess people will be forced to sleep in dressing rooms at the GAP, on DDS salad bars, in sleeping bags and (if the College can afford it) tents on the Green -- and possibly even vans down by the river. Smaller students might be forced to sleep in the desk drawers of others. Or, for the those who wish to live in the lap of homeless luxury, with Westside closing, the space could be used for a homeless shelter complete with an all you can eat soup kitchen.

In the meantime, there is prime real estate "available" (if only through shady means) near the center of campus. So it's pretty clear that the housing crunch is one of the driving forces behind the devious plot to eliminate the Greek houses. The school wants the land for student housing, quite a clever plan indeed considering that students actually do live in the Greek houses (good work, fellas). However, also on Webster Avenue, right next to the fraternities, lies a house in which no student resides, a house twice as big as any fraternity, and perhaps the greatest waste of space in the celebrated history of this fine institution. Yep Jimbo, you guessed it -- that's your place I'm talking about.

By all rights, you should have a nice house. You're the president for Christ's sake, so you do need something worthy of entertaining people whom the school can potentially mooch millions from. But the answer is not the cavernous mansion in which you currently reside.

Realistically, your house should be turned into a dorm, a move that would probably cut our homeless population in half. And you would be the hero, because this move would alleviate the perceived need to wage war on the Greeks.

But I'm a reasonable fellow, and I'm not asking you to be a hero. A token gesture of good faith would be plenty for me. So even though I do have housing, I'd like to offer you this opportunity to allow me to move into your house, just as a proof of your good intentions and caring for the living arrangements of students. This one gesture would enable a poor homeless student to move into the dorm vacancy I create. Think. You could make the difference in the life of a child. So please let me move in with you. As the Herlihy Kid so eloquently stated, "I would like an answer, and I would like that answer to be yes."