Trancos to be converted to all-sophomore dorm

Jan. 25, 2016, 3:52 a.m.
Trancos, an all-freshman dorm in Wilbur, will transition to an all-sophomore dorm next year. (McKENZIE LYNCH/The Stanford Daily)

Trancos will become an all-sophomore residence next year, and Residential Education (ResEd) staff are currently preparing to transition the dorm, which is presently an all-freshmen residence.

Associate dean of ResEd Koren Bakkegard explained that the move will reallocate about 100 freshmen to two new four-class dorms at Lagunita next year.

“One of the things important to us, and to the first year experience, is making sure that we maintain a critical mass of frosh on west campus,” Bakkegard said. “Many of the frosh in FloMo, Roble and FroSoCo may feel less connected to the freshman experience.”

Redistributing freshmen to west campus was one of several factors that led ResEd to shift freshmen out of Trancos instead of the four-class dorms at Florence Moore Hall.

Changing Trancos to an all-sophomore dorm means that the Class of 2020 will have fewer all-freshman residences from which to choose. At the same time, freshmen living in four-class dorms on west campus have their own preferences.

“I like living in a four-class dorm because freshmen dorms are often loud,” said Adam Forsyth ’19, who lives in Faisan, a four-class dorm in FloMo.

Meanwhile, Trancos residents’ first reactions have ranged from shock to plotting their return as sophomores.

“I hadn’t heard about it until you told me” said Sandhini Agarwal ’19. “When I talked to my friends, they seemed to know about it, but we just haven’t discussed it a lot. I guess everyone was like, ‘I wish we could all live here together next year; that would be so perfect.’”

In a statement to The Daily, Trancos’s current Resident Fellow, David Davidson, agreed that the transition could really benefit the dorm’s current residents.

“[The conversion] also gives the Trancos students currently living at Trancos an opportunity to draw in a group and return to the dorm as sophomores — not a bad way to address the sometimes difficult transition between the freshman and sophomore years,” he wrote.

Davidson and his wife, Kornelia Davidson, are currently serving their eighth and final year as RFs — another reason Trancos was chosen for the conversion.

“When we have brand new RFs in, we can hire staff — build culture in-house with clear focus from the beginning that they’re going to be all-sophomore,” Bakkegard said.

Trancos itself has alternated between four-class, upper-class and all-frosh since the 1990s, depending on housing needs. In the early ’90, the documentary “FROSH: Nine Months in the Life of an All-Freshman Dorm” traced the lives of nine Trancos freshmen coming to terms with homosexuality, race and college-level chemistry.

For current residents, it’s more about the people than the building.

“For me, it’s the people that matter, so even [if I lived here next year as a sophomore] the people would be different, and it might not be as homely,” Agarwal said.

For Megan Rowe ’19, one of her favorite memories of Trancos was the classic getting-to-know-you activity Crossing the Line, in which residents are given a series of questions and walk to one half of the room to indicate whether or not they identify with an experience or label. She recalled feeling closer to the people she lives with after the activity.

“Crossing the Line was a really cool thing to go through together,” Rowe said. “When people crossed the line for being depressed or in a bad relationship or abused, I felt for them.”

“If I could live here again with the same people, that would be the dream,” Agarwal added.


Contact Fangzhou Liu at fzliu96 ‘at’

Fangzhou Liu ’19 was Vol. 253 Executive Editor; before that, she co-led the news section. She grew up in Singapore and studies computer science and linguistics.

Login or create an account