Decking the Dorm Room Halls

While some Harvard students spend more of shopping week searching for a futon than a Gen Ed, for others the ...

While some Harvard students spend more of shopping week searching for a futon than a Gen Ed, for others the thought of interior design is less appealing than a Math 55 problem set.  Those overwhelmed by the task of covering all those cream-colored walls had an unexpected resource, a study break last Monday at the Harvard College Women’s Center.

“Dorm Made Simple” was the first of the HCWC’s series of healthy living study breaks. Tucked away in the basement of Canaday, the Women’s Center lounge was covered with posters featuring eco-friendly housing tips, and filled with tables strewn with the contents of an entire Michaels Craft store: stations were set up with customized supplies for tissue paper flowers, door hangers, and frame painting.

Rachel Gholston ’11, an HCWC intern and coordinator of the event, explained the need for this decorating extravaganza, “For freshmen, this is their first opportunity to create their own space, and upperclassmen have the opportunity to reinvent.”

Providing another perspective, John H. Lyon ’12 was the star of the “Cleanliness Corner,” a presentation that enumerated the ideal seven-step program to successful sanitation. While Lyon is actually a defensive end for the Harvard football team, the program advertised him as a quarterback, but a poll of the audience revealed that few members of the overwhelmingly female audience actually knew the distinction.

Lyon briefed the attendees on Lysol, his miracle cleanliness cure, chore charts, sweeping, and the lesser known benefits of lavender air freshener. One particular gem he provided, too often forgotten: “If Dorm Crew hasn’t come yet, and your bathroom is getting junky, it is okay to clean it.”

Guests had their own tips for crafting an attractive habitat to come home to. Laura E. D’Asaro ’13, an expert on tissue paper flowers, advised using wrapping paper as wallpaper, in keeping with affordable chic.

Participants left the event ready to conquer blank walls and dirty bathrooms, or, if not, at least walked away with a new appreciation for the timelessness of arts and crafts.

For The Moment