The Freshman Dorms as Foco Delicacies

Ever wondered which freshman dorm is analogous to a perfectly warm Foco cookie? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

by Molly Stevens and Mariel Fulghum | 2/2/22 2:10am

by Natalie Cantave / The Dartmouth

It’s high time we address the elephant in the room — the room being Foco, the elephant being the freshman dorms. We know you’ve been dying to find out each freshman dorm’s Foco food counterpart. Well, the wait is over. Here you have it:

The River Cluster (French Hall and Judge Hall): Stir fry

What are the two defining factors of Foco stir fry? It takes a long time, but it’s so good that it’s worth it. The river shares at least one of these characteristics, the former. In fact, you could walk from Sauté Fresh to the river and back and your stir fry still might not be ready. 

Resident of Judge Hall Ellie McLaughlin ’25 mentions that what she likes about the river is the “the privacy of a two room double.” What she dislikes is “everything else except the privacy of a two room double.” 

Ultimately, the river cluster does have many pros: the beloved microfridge in each room, the existence of 3 room doubles — those exist? — and the shared camaraderie of living near no one else. The river community has something of a je ne sais quoi. We can’t quite put our fingers on it. 

Russell Sage Hall: Foco Pizza

Russell Sage Hall is the epitome of a classic American college dorm: brick, perfectly rectangular and, frankly, a little bit boring.

Likewise, a lukewarm slice of Foco’s brick oven cheese pizza is the epitome of an American meal: cheesy, perfectly triangular and (you guessed it) a little bit boring. 

Even still, we haven’t heard any major complaints from the residents of Russell Sage. Just the same, even if Foco pizza usually serves as the backup option on nights when Ma Thayer’s looks especially grim, we’ve yet to hear anyone say a bad word about it.

Gile Hall: Foco Pasta

Gile Hall, Russell Sage’s proverbial sister, exudes an uncannily similar energy to that of the Foco pasta station. Let’s be honest, we were all thinking it.

Foco Pasta: It’s classic, yet it’s not very interesting. But, you know what? It’s really not too bad. It’s not many freshman’s Holy-Foco-Grail, but it will suffice. 

Has anyone ever called Gile Hall their dream dorm? We seriously doubt it. At the same time, it’s surely not anyone’s residential-life nightmare.

The Fayes (North Fayerweather Hall, Mid-Fayerweather Hall and South Fayerweather Hall): Chicken Nuggets

The Fayes, notorious for being the party dorms, are a staple of the freshman social scene. In the same vein, chicken nuggets are also a staple of the freshman social scene. 

Ulla-Britt Libre ’25, frequent visitor of the Fayes, described the dorms as “fun and exciting” at first. 

“You’re really exhilarated by the idea of a chicken nugget, and then all of a sudden the chicken nuggets get boring,” Libre said. “They get kind of dry. They get kind of crusty. And that’s the Fayes.” 

Whether you agree with Libre or not, chicken nuggets undoubtedly share the homey atmosphere that the Fayes so effortlessly embody. And at the end of the day, you have to love them. 

The Choates (Bissell Hall, Cohen Hall, Brown Hall and Little Hall): Cantaloupe

If the Choates were a Foco food, they would definitely be cantaloupe. Like Foco’s cantaloupe chunks, the Choates are literal cubes. 

When we spoke to residents of this dorm cluster, it quickly became clear that the analogy goes even deeper. 

India Jones ’25 described her Choate, Brown Hall, as “smelly for no reason.” 

Foco’s cantaloupe, for reasons we have not yet discovered, is distinctly ripe and odorous, just like the dank hallways of the Choates. 

The Choates are known far and wide as some of Dartmouth’s worst dorms. But on second thought, maybe cantaloupe isn’t the worst that Foco has to offer — have you ever tried to choke down their honeydew melon?

McLaughlin Cluster: The Bread Under the Shelf of Bagels

How many times did you go to Foco before you realized there were several loaves of bread nestled on the bottom shelf of the cart of fresh Vermont Bagels? Maybe this is the first time you’re hearing of such a thing. Well, we’re not lying. We promise. Go look right now if you don’t believe us.

Even if you knew that that bread existed, be honest: How many times have you actually eaten it? Yeah, it’s probably fine, probably tastes like bread. We’re not sure though. It’s so inaccessible that we haven’t gotten close enough to find out.

Now read that back, but substitute “McLaughlin cluster” for “the hidden loaves of bread” and “the Dartmouth campus” for “Foco.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

Richardson Hall: Foco Cookie

As we all know, being compared to a Foco cookie might be the highest honor one could ever receive. And we don’t hand it out rashly. 

Richardson is likely the most aesthetically pleasing of all the freshman dorms. Look at those columns. That balcony. The tasteful stone adorning the lower third. Richardson is beautiful, and its interior is equally as enticing. 

Richardson has an elusive quality. It’s strangely cavernous. It’s mysterious. But, like a Foco cookie, something about it is just so good. 

Wheeler Hall: Foco Tea

Will Ermarth ’25 described Wheeler Hall as “rustic” and “Dartmouth,” two words that just feel right. Wheeler absolutely has an old-timey feel, as does tea. 

At the end of a nice night at Foco, what’s the final stop? The tea station. Because what could possibly be more comforting than a scalding hot cup of Earl Grey? 

Only one thing: The scalding hot radiators of Wheeler. 

East Wheelock (McCulloch Hall, Morton Hall, and Zimmerman Hall): Tofu Cubes

Tofu cubes: pristine, uniform and almost blindingly white.

You could say the same about the dorms of East Wheelock. However, there’s something sinister hidden in those geometrically sound walls.

I think you know what we’re getting at: mold, lots and lots of mold.

Sometimes, Foco tofu cubes have a little extra tang — in a bad way. Is it mold? Maybe. Are we still going to eat them? Yeah. 

And, might the East Wheelock dorms be, objectively, the nicest on campus? We hate to say it, but mold and all, we wish we lived in East Wheelock. 

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