Isabella Van Ess ’22
Dorm deans play an instrumental role in the Mercersburg residential community. They keep our living spaces lively and positive through thick and thin. Dylan Gantt ‘21, a current prefect in Main Hall, says, “The role of dorm dean is to make the dorm experience as close to being at home as possible. They set up events, run dorm feeds, look out for us, and so much more.” Dorm deans support students living away from home. They do everything from restocking the snack closets so students can stay focused during study hours, to hosting pancake nights. However, dorm deans aren’t just providers of food. Should a student ever have a personal question, the dorm deans are there to help and ready to listen. “My favorite thing about my dorm dean is how organized she is and how much she cares about all of us. She lets us know that she will do anything for us, and she is always there for you no matter what the situation is,” says Savannah Pentz ‘23.
Amanda Peh ‘22, a prefect on the third floor of Fowle Hall acknowledges, “Dorm deans are the head of the house – they care and nurture us, get us food, entertain us, and discipline us.” Dorm deans are by our side; no matter what trouble we cause, how big the clean-up is, the dorm deans are there to help fix whatever it is we did this time. Dorm deans make themselves quite accessible, should any student ever need them.
“They are truly a dorm parent in the sense that you can talk to them about most anything at any time and they will listen to you,” Mia Ingram ‘21 says. Swank Hall dorm dean Doonie Brewer adds that dorm deans are there “to make individuals feel safe in their space and to make the dorm group content in their home-away-from-home. In short, when Swanksters walk through the door of the dorm, each one should feel a sense of warmth and peace – HOME.” From organizing tea parties to dorm bonding, dorm deans are always working hard to make school life better and more homey for all students.
Caring for students is not just a job to the dorm deans. When the residents of Fowle Hall aren’t causing trouble, Emily Parsons enjoys “watching [the] students learn and grow during their time in the dorm. Our residents have good days and bad days, but they’re always kind. I love seeing our students overcome challenges and work on interpersonal relationships… My children have learned a lot about community from living in the dorm. They see me helping students and I think that it’s made them more understanding of the work that we do here at Mercersburg.”
There’s still much to learn from the dorm deans, and yet there is so little time. The next time you see a dorm dean walking around, thank them for all the heavy lifting they do and their devotion to the students with whom they live.