By Cecilia Smith
Imagine going to a line-dancing bar with friends and being the only ones there – besides a bachelorette party.
That was one of the memories senior Chris Marshall recounted as one of his favorites from living in Tree House.
“This place is dense with memories,” Marshall said about Tree House. “Not living here on a normal basis is going to be tough.”
Marshall, who has lived in the house since his sophomore year, will be graduating after this semester. Though Marshall said he ended up in the house by coincidence, living in a Small Living Unit (SLU) has given him something to look for in the future.
“It’s spoiled me,” he said. “This kind of living situation will be at the back of my mind when I’m thinking about living anywhere…It has made me never want to live alone.”
Marshall was not the only one who said he had fond memories. Seniors at the Women’s House started crying when talking about the experience of living in a SLU.
Senior Victoria Sellers said living in WoHo made her more self-aware.
“I’ll miss how these people live activism and feminism and open-mindedness,” she said. “They’ve taught me the difference between living activism and speaking activism.”
WoHo residents said the house will lose eight seniors after this semester, one of the greatest proportional numbers of all the SLUs.
Freshman Claudia Bauman, who will move into WoHo at the start of the 2013 fall semester, said the current members joke about who their replacements will be.
“They joke around about me filling the role of Alex Crump, but I’ve got some big shoes to fill if they’re comparing me to her,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to add my own flavor to the house.”
Marshall said he wasn’t looking for his replacement during SLUsh week, but he does hope current and new members will keep the seniors in their minds.
“I don’t want them to dwell on us being gone,” he said. “I have more faith in them than I do in me. I don’t want to leave any grand legacy behind, just more, like, memories.”
Photos of and letters from former housemates decorate the walls of WoHo. Sellers said members have been considering delegating a wall for members to handprint as they leave the house.
“This house has given me so, so much,” she said. “I feel like I’m walking away with part of the house imprinted on me.”
Sellers said one of her favorite “publishable” memories took place at a Take Back the Night event when she and other members of the house spent the day “literally running around” making and lighting luminaries for the march portion. She said she cried when she saw their completed work.
“It was beautiful,” she said. “Not just because they were pretty white lights against a dark background, but because of the symbolic meaning of all the work we’d done and what it all meant.”
Marshall said his experience at Tree House “made” his OWU experience.
“I never thought I’d experience home at a college,” he said. “[Living in a SLU] has broken me out of my mold. It’s made me love being surrounded by people. It’s made me more conscientious about the sustainable lifestyle. It’s left me with some of the most indelible friendships. It’s not just Tree House. There’s no house I won’t miss.”