Facetime for everyone: looking beyond FFB

by Laura Bryn Sisson | 8/11/11 10:00pm

When Jay assigned stories for this issue, I protested that I was not the best person to write about facetime. I'm flattered when someone calls me a hippie I live off-campus and spend much of the time I'm not at The D adventuring with the Dartmouth Outing Club. First floor Berry is not where I expect to find friends or acquaintances passing through.

But we alternative folks do pursue facetime we just look for it in different places than the rest of campus. I asked around, and blitzed out to many @macs (a form of facetime in itself), to better find out where hippie kids go to see and be seen.


Collis is the no-brainer facetime spot for alternative types. Frisbee players, DOC-ers, Sigma Delts and Sig Eps are all likely to be found at Collis during mealtimes.

"It's not really that I come here looking for facetime," Hazel Shapiro '13 said at Collis. "It's more that if I show up here, I know I'll run into a couple of friends that have some time to hang out."

The Green can function in much the same way. Though grass and sunshine are obviously popular with everyone, hippies perhaps are more attracted than most to sitting on the ground, lazing about as friends drift past.

The Area around Robinson Hall

You can always find outdoorsy people hanging out on the steps of Robo, often eating lunch. Once, two friends and I polished off two pints of Ben & Jerry's on the Robo steps, all while getting some excellent facetime.

The outdoorsy alternative to first floor Berry is the Robo conference room, which Tripp Burwell '13 calls his "favorite spot to get facetime." Though often filled with people sporting Birkenstocks while doing Engs homework, it is not an entirely work-focused scene.

"Even when I'm not taking classes, I go hang out there," Burwell said.

The River

The river has two attractions: swimming and the Ledyard Clubhouse. Since boaters live at Ledyard and the club hires desk workers, finding an outdoorsy crowd there is always a good bet. Ledyard desk work is the equivalent of working at the smoothie station at Collis: constant facetime. Melissa Gordon '13 said her shifts on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings provide her with optimal facetime. The Saturday and Sunday afternoon shifts naturally lend themselves to facetime, too.

Let's also say that students hang out in bathing suits on the dock though swimming from anywhere but the recently reinstalled swim dock is prohibited by the College.

"The [new] swim docks are really making [Ledyard] less facetimey," Gordon said. "Screw those docks."

The Lodge

Believe it or not, the Lodge exists for reasons besides DOC First-Year Trips! It's a popular destination for dinner after a day of outdoor activities, which lends itself to a chill hangout scene beloved by alternative types.

Rory Gawler '05, the DOC general manager, said that for him, "the Lodge is the ultimate facetime."

"I often go up there and there [are] 30 students that I know, then randomly a dozen young alums that I am friends with, and then the occasional older alum that I need to schmooze with," Gawler said.

Off-Campus Houses

We are the types to live off-campus, in houses that allow us to cook organic produce and live with seven friends in close proximity. Hippies are also the types to be unaffiliated, and even if one of us is a member of a Greek house, he or she appreciates the kind of social gathering that involves drinking good beer around a campfire. Therefore, off-campus parties are the ultimate facetime setting. Personally, I fear missing out on an off-campus party.


DOC subclubs the DMC, Ledyard, Cabin and Trail have weekly dinners at the off-campus house associated with members of the club. It's a guaranteed way to see other members of the club if our paths don't cross any other time. I have a similar FOMO about not showing up to feeds (see above).

The Climbing Gym

The Dartmouth Mountaineering Club is sometimes jokingly referred to as the Dartmouth Monogamy Club, perhaps because so many couples meet climbing. John Joline '70 sent me a list of nine married couples who met in the Jonathan Belden Daniels Climbing gym in the basement of the Maxwell Apartments, and included another three who are currently living together or engaged.

Even if time spent schmoozing in the gym does not lead to finding a potential life partner, we can rely on finding gym rats working on climbing-related problems and being seen working on these problems in the climbing gym.

"We [the DMC] are too lame to have social lives and too stupid to do anything besides climbing," Zebediah Engberg GR'14 wrote in an email.

Climbing failures only increase the desire for facetime.

"We bond over our repeated failure and vow to spend even more time in the gym," Engberg wrote.


Something about climbers' and kayakers' thrill-seeking also leads to forms of facetime that involve rule-breaking or at least so people like to boast.

"I hear the president's lawn makes the best facetime," Ben Southworth '13 said.

The usual hangout spots of climbers are typically of a higher altitude than those of most students.

"I like to climb up to the roof of Wilder and watch sunsets," Andrew Park '13 wrote in an email. "Sometimes I throw water balloons at people below. Is that considered facetime?"