Beginning with the 2020–21 academic year room draw, the sustainable living community Pink House, located adjacent to Forbes College, will no longer exist in its current form. In its place, the University plans to expand housing options for upperclass students in Forbes.
In mid-December 2019, the 10 students who live at 99 Alexander Street, also known as Pink House, received an email from Forbes College, stating that the residential college was considering other uses for the house the following school year. Last week, Forbesians received an email that explained that for the upcoming room draw, Forbes juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to draw specifically for rooms in Pink House.
“The Pink House affords residents the opportunity to capitalize on the building’s kitchen and lounge, proximity to the Forbes garden, Head of College Residence, and facilities within Forbes College to promote a vibrant sense of residential community among Forbes juniors and seniors,” wrote Dean of Forbes College Patrick Caddeau.
“We hope the sense of community and engagement with all of Forbes will grow by making these minor changes to the draw process for the coming year,” he added.
Since 2016, 10 students have lived together in Pink House, where they have focused on sustainable living and eating as a means of building community. Pink House members participate in environmental activism at the University and surrounding communities, aiming to make sustainable living practices more accessible.
Residents of Pink House have also participated in a foodshare program since 2017, in which they share the responsibilities of cooking and maintaining the house’s kitchen. Pink House, however, is not a recognized co-op.
“We’re a group of friends sharing food,” said Jonathan Haynes ’20.
The University only acknowledges four co-op programs on campus: 2 Dickinson St. Co-op, International Food Co-op, Brown Food Co-op, and Scully Co-op.
Meanwhile, the co-op model is in high demand on campus. This past year, 2D received 80 applications for only six spots.
Current Forbes students who are eligible for upperclass housing will have the opportunity to draw into Pink House as individuals or groups during a special room draw, prior to the regular room draw process in mid-March. Current junior members of the Pink House will be able to participate in this draw, but as of now, they will not be guaranteed a space in the house.
In the past, current Pink House members have selected new residents, and the house has been open to members of all residential colleges. Going forward, Pink House will now only be open to members of Forbes.
Residents knew that the current arrangement was never permanent, as they had to renew the contract each year. According to Kate Schassler ’21, however, the members originally reacted to the news with disbelief.
“It seemed to be more up in the air than it ended up being,” she said.
The members of Pink House believe that this new plan threatens the food share and the community they value.
“There’s a certain joy that comes with working alongside people to create something,” said Schassler. The members emphasized that Pink House had allowed them to know where their food came from and to learn from one another.
“Pink House has been a unique oasis of community,” said Jack Aiello ’21.
Members believe that the University could jeopardize the communities that exist in spaces such as Pink House when the house becomes further incorporated within Forbes.
“Forbes would build a better community if they draw on the community that we have here,” said Aiello.