Making Dorms Feel Like Family

Chaplain Anne-Elisabeth meditating during an open house in Copley Residence Hall

Chaplain Anne-Elisabeth meditating during an open house in Copley Residence Hall

It was Welcome Week 2013, and I loved every second of it; people were out introducing themselves left and right, I was meeting my soon-to-be best friends, and I was being offered some pretty awesome snacks. I remember walking down my New South 1 hallway to check the event calendar that our RAs had posted and seeing all of the events: midnight breakfast with our floor and an open house for nearly every night of the week! I knew where my study breaks were going to be each week.

I soon met most of the Chaplains-in-Residence in New South and started frequenting open houses, especially for Chaplain Jessie’s. She became an integral part of my experience, providing neat mocktails and delicious snacks along with great company and an excuse to see all of my floor friends each Tuesday night. I would stop by on my way home from work and then reconvene for homework. Even this year I still meet up with Jessie on occasion just to catch up – I feel like an old lady going back to New South (funny how much can change in a year!), but seeing my old dorm and being at the open house reminds me of some of the highlights from my freshman year.

This year, I have met some new wonderful chaplains: Father O’Brien, Anne-Elisabeth, and Lindsay have all welcomed me with open arms. Each of these chaplains has offered me a mini home once a week to just relax and have some comfort food (shout out to the classic warm brownie sundaes every Tuesday with Fr. O’Brien!). Moreover, Anne-Elisabeth and Lindsay have both been great people to just talk to about my week, school, and exciting things going on in my life. It’s always great to take a half hour break each Monday-Wednesday and wind down.

Anne-Elisabeth has introduced me to silence and the peace meditation brings to your life (and homemade madeleines!), and Lindsay has introduced me to new friends in Copley and always listens to my run through of the week (not to mention she makes something delicious and different every week).

Together, these chaplains have offered me something no other school I visited did: a home in a college dorm. You can feel the difference stepping into a chaplain’s apartment–it’s strange to see a fully furnished kitchen and real paintings and framed artwork on the walls as opposed to taped posters. It’s a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown — a place that’s my home in many ways, but not quite a real home. The chaplains fill that hole in my life and make dorm living feel more like family.

Rosa Isabella Cuppari, SFS’17