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ISSUE 116 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/14/2003

Coveted loft living cherished by residents

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer


Friday, March 14, 2003

Fifth floor Thorson hides one of the best kept housing secrets on the St. Olaf campus. Juniors Naomi Schwegler, Lindsay Horn and Tonya Cook, who live in one of the four Thorson lofts, feel they couldn’'t be luckier to be living the “Penthouse” life.

Thorson 504, or “the Thorson penthouse” as the girls have named it, includes a spacious 12 1/2 x 15 1/2 foot room, with a staircase leading to a lofted room. The loft holds all of the girls’ beds and they sometimes refer to it as “the cave” or “the coffin” because it’s so cramped. The lower and larger room holds their desks, dressers, closets and living area. The room is designed for four women, but due to study abroad circumstances, Schwegler, Horn and Cook have found themselves with more space than they know what to do with.

However, everything has not always been so easy in Thorson 504. Cook said that moving in was a big hassle because of the odd shape of the room and all of the stuff four St. Olaf women can accumulate by their junior year. Before move-in day, these ambitious women measured the room, all of their dressers, couches, tables and desks to ensure that they would have a working layout. The effort has paid off and Schwegler is happy they have ended up with “a study area, sleeping area and a socializing area.”

Some of their favorite things about the room include the high vaulted ceilings and serenity due to the room’s seclusion on the fifth floor, with three other lofts being the only other rooms up there.

“"I love that it’s the tip of Thorson, so the ceilings are so high you could never get claustrophobic in here,"” Cook said. “The Thorson Penthouse’s” prime spot at the top of Thorson also allows them to get a great view of the whole campus and an amazing vista at each sunset. The room also has huge chalet-style windows that offer plenty of chances for them to take advantage of their first-rate view. The high ceilings also create a lot of blank wall space that the girls have filled with picture frames, photographs and posters.

Though the location has its benefits, these women pay the price by walking up so many flights of stairs. "There’s no elevator and you have to walk up four flights of stairs, but it’s okay because by the end of the year we’re gonna have great butts!”" Cook said.

Bad lighting has also caused some frustration for the girls. Without the help of additional lights, the room is so dim that the only thing it would be convenient for is romantic ambiance. However, this has only made the girls get more creative and they’'ve added fun lamps and a beautiful lit-up hanging star that can be seen like a beacon in their window to anyone approaching Thorson. The absence of a drinking fountain and bathrooms on fifth floor also causes some minor irritations.

“The Thorson Penthouse” girls enjoy being able to live with more than one person. "“I love to always have a friend around,”" said Horn. “I also like it on the weekends when we can all get ready together and have fun doing hair and make-up,” she said.

The four lofts in Thorson, two triple rooms and two quads, have typically gone to women in the past few years and Schwegler, Horn and Cook landed the room with a relatively low room draw number last spring. However, men should not give up hope because according to Director of Resident Life Pamela Mannebach, the possibility of men living in the lofts is not ruled out. Due to proximity of the bathrooms, it has gone to girls lately because fourth floor Thorson has been a girls floor obviously with a girls' bathroom on it.

Luckily, all of the girls get along living in such close quarters. Schwegler sums up this sentiment by saying, “"I love having all of the beds upstairs because it’s like summer camp – a sleepover every night.”"





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