“If you think we’re crazy over the last few days, just keep in mind that we’ve kind of been homeless.”
As classes resume, as many (though far from all) campus houses light up with full power, and as we return to what President Roth calls “the normal rhythms of our educational mission,” one group of increasingly manic refugees continues bearing the aftereffects of the storm, living on the boundaries of sanity and shelter in the Clark Lounge.
They are the residents of 200 Church—the lively group of freshmen forcefully evacuated from their house on Tuesday afternoon—and they’ve been occupying the dorm lounge ever since, sleeping on couches and floors, 10 or 15 to a room. “I used to think it was great that all of my friends are in 200 Church, living in my house,” one resident told me. “But now it’s a problem. Because I have nowhere else to go.”
BZOD and I stopped by Camp TwoHo last night during our late-night drive through campus to investigate where power has (and has not) been restored. It’s a surreal scene. Students are red-eyed, exhausted, trying to remain positive. Clothes, laptops, food wrappers, banana peels are strewn indiscriminately throughout the living space. Conversations descend into manic laughter. Bitterness pervades the room as the surrounding campus returns to normalcy. So this is what “alternative housing” looks like. When will these frosh get to go home? “I think a common feeling is us walking through campus and saying ‘Let’s go home—what, we have no home!'” one TwoHo resident tells me. “It’s been a good social experiment of what it’s like to have twenty roommates,” offers another. Another lights up with paranoia: “He’s part of the experiment! He’s one of them, guys!”
Below you’ll find a full video interview with the 200 Church diaspora, wherein the residents discuss understanding (“just keep in mind that we’ve kind of been homeless”), madness (“we’re starting to get a little crazy”), and the Five Stages of Crisis Management. In the meantime, 200 Church will remain stranded in the Clark Lounge until power and heat is restored to their home, so “stop by and visit.” They don’t always smell like this.
[If you are still stranded from the storm and have a story and want to be profiled, interviewed, or featured here, get in touch at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.]