Prescott St. between Harvard St. and Broadway is quiet, unassuming. Nestled between the large Barker and Carpenter centers and smaller buildings, the street is half-shaded in the early afternoon.
But 20 Prescott St., one of the new swing housing sites for Dunster House, doesn’t fit the block’s peaceful mold. One apartment’s windows are adorned with big block letters which spell out “HIVE,” and music is thumping from the same apartment. Something like Blink-182 spills out into the courtyard.
Soon I am in this very room, and the music is still turned up loud. Standing before me are three dark-haired, slightly scruffy Dunster House seniors: Keenan Monks ’15, Ben B. Nuzzo ’15, and Willie J. Pirc ’15. They’re the keepers of the “D-Hive,” and today they’re a bit hot—the apartment has no air-conditioning.
The lack of air conditioning becomes negligible once I tour the expansive apartment: it has a kitchen, three single bedrooms, a massive living room, and one-and-a-half bathrooms.
The apartment is airy and clean, albeit a little under-decorated. I soon learn that the three seniors are awaiting a flag and table that have a D-Hive logo on them. Their insignia is simple: a cursive “D-Hive” in front of a honeycomb pattern.
But the boys don’t love bees; the “D-Hive” has been the name of Monks’ and Nuzzo’s room since their sophomore year. They lived on the fifth floor in the H and I entryways in Dunster House, hence “D-HIVE.”
The concept of the D-Hive, which has little to do with the name, differs yet.
“I think the concept was kind of born when Keenan and I decided it would be cool if we had a proper common room and shared an 87-square foot bedroom,” Nuzzo explains.
Monks adds that they thought being social was more important than having singles. “So we bunked, and tried to get people to hang out,” he says.
Pirc, who’s new to the rooming group this year, frequented the Hive his sophomore and junior years.
Since the D-Hive’s beginnings, the boys’ passion for Dunster House has continued to grow. Monks is on the Housing Committee this year, and Pirc says that he “bleed[s] red for Dunster.” After picking the number two draw for the Dunster swing housing lottery, the boys are more excited than ever to transform their living space into a social one.
“Especially with swing housing now, we want there to be a room where a lot of Dunster people can congregate and still be connected,” Monks says. “We’re trying to make it that sort of space.”
In past years, the Hive’s been home to rap battles and pre-formal bashes. When the “call of the Hive goes out, people come in, and then we roll as a pack,” Monks explains.
This year’s space certainly feels party-ready. On display in the kitchen and common room are 19 empty Smirnoff bottles of all different colors; the three have collected most of the flavors offered in the Square. But, be sure—they didn’t finish it all by themselves.
The D-Hive seniors adhere closely to school policy. On weekends, the boys go through the official process to register their parties—Monks thinks that complying with House policy fosters a better community.
“We try to follow rules as much as we can and not make it hard for the people around us,” he says.
People come and go during the week, too. Today, a girl walks in during the interview and starts in on a story about her afternoon; then, she asks, “Is this the interview?” and says she’ll come back later.
“We tend to have open door policy,” Monks explains after she leaves. “That’s kind of a nice philosophy we have; you can always make time to hang out with someone.”
Besides hanging out, music and video games are integral aspects of the Hive. There’s a speaker system and a Wii console right underneath their cardboard moose head in the living room; Super Smash Bros is a “fan favorite” according to Pirc, and they’ll blast anything from EDM to k-pop.
This year, the boys are planning to put on a D-Hive Olympics, which would consist of tournaments in arm wrestling, Super Smash Bros, and a few other events.
But for now, the three D-Hivers are just settling into their new digs. “And once we get the flag and table, they’ll really mark the room,” Monks says.
When I laugh at this, Pirc sets me straight: “It’s not aggressive to have two logos in the room.”