Found: The Craziest, Sweetest and Most Random Door Decs from the Freshman Dorms

By Leigh Steinberg | 9/29/14 8:00am

This past week, I went on a hunt around the six freshman dorm clusters — the River, McLaughlin, East Wheelock, Fahey-McLane, Choates and Russell Sage — for the ultimate prize every undergraduate advisor dreams of winning:

Best Door Decorations in Hanover.

Movie, TV show and music references were scattered throughout the clusters, and I found everything from Post-It notes to intricate crafts. Freshmen are greeted at their doors with a variety of images, jokes and even tweets (from Jaden Smith’s twitter!). Many UGAs went for the classic Dartmouth image—Dr. Seuss.

Here are the best and worst Door Decs of 2014.

Best Reminder of Home — Fahey 3

The UGA of Fahey 3 gave every floormate a little piece of home. Adorning each door is the license plate of the student’s native state, with name and hometown in the classic license plate type font. The hallway is colorful and showcases a little piece of the residents on their doors. Well done, Fahey 3.

Best “Dartmouth Double-Header”—Rauner-Bildner 2 (McLaughlin)

What is one thing every Dartmouth student cannot live without? Their student ID, of course! How else would we get delicious FoCo cookies and Collis smoothies? And is there anything more Dartmouth than Dr. Seuss? I don’t think so. Combining the two is a dynamite combination.

Best Battle for TV Supremacy—Bissell 2 (Choates) vs. Russell Sage 2

It’s a tube tie! Who can pick between “Game of Thrones” and “Dr. Who”?! While we all may have our preferences, you cannot deny the thrill of the 3D “Dr. Who” decorations on Russell Sage 4 or the excitement of being assigned a Noble House on Bissell 3. Pop culture references can be fun and festive (as long as people know the shows) — and these two UGAs picked hits.

Fetchest Door Dec—Russell Sage 3

Who doesn’t love a Mean Girls reference? And a whole hall full of them?! Any ’18 girl’s dream! While the boys are probably not as thrilled, the UGA of Russell Sage 3 is definitely trying to make “fetch” happen. Regardless of what Regina George believes, these door decs are a success.

Strangest Image to See at 2 a.m.—Rauner 4 (McLaughlin)

There is something strange going on in Rauner 4. Hanging from each student’s door is an image of an animal with a human body. Creative and original? Maybe. Creepy and scary? Definitely. Avoid eye contact in the dark with these half-humans.

Sweets and Simple!—Goldstein 3 (McLaughlin)

Many UGAs had the same idea this year — paste a sweet image or food or a hand made cupcake on students’ doors to wish them a sweet and rewarding year! But no one pulled it off as well as Goldstein 3. Every door has a different sweet, and the crafts are beautifully made. They look so real, they even make the Collis baked goods jealous.

Best Reminder of your Childhood—McCulloch 4 (East Wheelock)

Step aside McLane 4 with your Etch-A-Sketch door decs. McCulloch 4 beat you for door decoration most likely to bring newly minted college students back to their pre-school days. Cartoon characters line the halls, and East Wheelock has become the meeting points for our favorite animated heroes. “Hey Arnold,” “Spongebob,” “Clifford,” “Arthur,” “The Power Puff Girls,” “Pokemon” and even “Blues Clues” make an appearance. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, or just want to be a little kid again, head down East Wheelock Street for a walk down memory lane.

Most New England-y Floor (combined)—Rauner, Berry, Bildner 3 (McLaughlin)

The combination of artistic flannel shirts and intricately cut out moose on every door makes for a cozy, homey New England atmosphere one can only find in the Upper Valley. Simple but adorable (maybe not as adorable as Bildner 4’s puppy door decs though), these decorations are quintessentially New England and set the tone for a huge aspect of the Dartmouth experience.

Best Door Dec with the Least Effort—Fahey 4 and Zimmerman 4 (East Wheelock)

We applaud your effort, UGAs. The Post-It notes speak for themselves.

Best Hidden Gem—Andres 4 (East Wheelock)

After a quick walkthrough of Andres 4, one might think that the Twitter logos dominating the doors are a simple nod to 21st century social media. However, if you look closer, there are actual tweets posted in the word bubbles. And not just any random, made up tweets — tweets from the one and only Jaden Smith (@officialjaden). Students are “inspired” by these ridiculous, often confusing 140 character quotes. For example, Jaden shared that “Education is Rebellion” and “If newborn babies could speak, they would be the most intelligent people on Earth.” The UGA of Andres 4 gets the award for most unexpected spin on the door decoration craziness.

So if you are ever in the mood to make the trek to East Wheelock or McLaughlin, or just down Mass Row to Russell Sage and Fahey-McLane, check out the product of dozens of UGAs’ hard work and creativity. Find the undercover treasures of the freshman clusters and in the words of Jaden Smith, “Look Around, You Will See.”

Leigh Steinberg