A new year has dawned upon Wheaton. The elderly class of 2019 has been shipped off into the so-called “real world,” as the babies known as the class of 2023 have attempted to integrate themselves into the Wheaton community. With this new year, most things have stayed the same here at Wheaton, but a significant new change here at Wheaton is the addition of Pine Hall. A building that even the most luxurious of hotels will be jealous of, Pine Hall is a monument to Wheaton’s eventual plan to consume the town of Norton.
Pine Hall features “Conger Commons,” a vast common room named after longtime Wheaton Trustee Nancy Conger, which narrowly beat out competitor “Porcupine Plaza.” Pine Hall also has private study rooms that must be booked in advance to use, allowing those who have proper planning to ensure that they can have a place to study that is better than Collaboration Rooms 3 or 6 in the library. Pine Hall can house 178 students, giving it second place in population after the definitely-not-overcrowded Meadows.
Pine Hall is constructed in a more energy-efficient way, being designed explicitly with that purpose in mind. This means residents can feel less bad about forgetting to turn their lights off before leaving the room or forgetting to unplug their illegal lava lamps. Pine Hall is also constructed with real pinewood, which is 37 percent more efficient at keeping heat in the building, with the exception of Conger Commons, in which the wood is replaced with live conger eels. Pine Hall is also the only dorm at Wheaton that has air conditioning installed, meaning that during the summer, students will make it look like sardines in a can have room to move.
Pine Hall is a Wellness Dorm, meaning that residents must agree to 7 principles of wellness if they wish to live there – including Intellectual Wellness, Academic Wellness, Social Wellness, among others. Among these Wellnesses, there lies Physical Wellness, which includes abstaining from drugs. This affects the residents of Pine Hall by teaching them to be experts at hiding drug use by the end of their year-long stay in the building. However, some residents clearly have not learned to do this correctly yet, as some Pine Hall residents have reported that the undeniable scent of marijuana has grown so strong that not even the pine tree scented car air fresheners can contain the smell.
“Wellness dorms” remain a controversial topic at Wheaton, with some students claiming that the absence of drugs will make it an easier environment to study in, while some Music and Religion majors having claimed that the prohibition of drugs has increased the difficulty level of their classes. However, only time will tell whether Wheaton’s staunch commitment to the War on Drugs is the correct decision. In conclusion, while Pine Hall has many desirable features, it still cannot take the title of Best Lower Campus Dorm from Clark Hall due to Clark’s proximity to Chase Dining Hall.