Hometown: Columbus, OH
Major: Studio Art
Involvements: Burlesque Club, CrossFit, WDUB DJ
Why did you choose Denison? I came to Denison because of the Homestead. I love the thinking and doing we do together.
Favorite chore? Cooking.
Most useful skill or life lesson learned at the Homestead? The Homestead has taught me a lot about time-management and self-care.
What’s your dream job? My dream is to live sustainably either on my own or with another community and work as an artist and physical trainer.
Pronouns: He/him/his, they/them/theirs
Hometown: Lanham, MD
Majors/minor: Environmental Studies and Educational Studies double major with a minor in Art History and Visual Culture
Involvements: Students for Community and Environmental Action, Big Brothers Big Sisters, La Fuerza, African Student Association
When did you know you wanted to live at the Homestead? After my first tour following my first dinner. After having some amazing food I was shown around by graduated homie, Grace Bachmann. After seeing the composting toilets, the gardens, and the wood stove I told her “I really want to live here.”
Myth about the Homestead you’d like to dispel? That the Homestead is full of white hippies. I think that the visibility of people of color in spaces that prioritize sustainability is important because people of color and other marginalized groups are most vulnerable to climate change and environmental injustice.
What’s the secret to getting along with others in a shared living space? “When in doubt, chill out.” It’s my version of assuming best intentions, and it helps to remind myself that we are all working together for the common goal of sustainability and community. It also helps to be friendly in all spaces and also support homies in any way possible when possible.
Favorite space at the Homestead? The fire pit and bridge. It’s a transitory space that one is greeted by when they are finally home. Of course there is the WE sculpture, but I find the noise that is made when walking across the bridge is what lets me know I’m finally home.
Pronouns: he/him/his, they/them/theirs
Hometown: The South Bronx, New York City
Major: International Studies and Spanish double majors
Involvements: DCGA Public Relations Committee
What makes the Homestead experience unique? When you decide to live with a family that cares about everyone’s individual wellbeing, as well as make a conscious effort to preserve our land and resources, it definitely changes your experience at Denison. There are probably communities on campus that take pride in their space and try to maintain it, but I don’t think it is quite as unique as the Homestead. At the Homestead we value history and tradition. We value community and sustainability, whereas on campus you cannot guarantee that everyone has the same aspirations or capacity to organize together.
Favorite space at the Homestead? I absolutely love Cabin One because of its historical significance as well as its museum-like exhibition. Every time I walk in I’m surrounded by posters, paintings, signage, photographs and messages that date back all the way back to my first Fall on Earth, haha. It’s certainly one of my favorite napping locations. I want to continue to use the space, as well as preserve its bohemian ambience.
Best/worst chore? Best: Chopping wood. Helps with releasing anger and frustration. Worst: Doing dishes. Something about submerging my hands in murky water just doesn’t appeal to me.
Pronouns: she/her/hers, they/them
Hometown: Worcester, MA
Major/minor: Women’s and Gender Studies, Black Studies
Involvements: Posse, theatre, political activism
Your most-beloved Homestead tradition? Holding hands in a circle around the stove before eating!
Myth about the Homestead you’d like to dispel: We don’t have a milkman… Like what??
What’s the secret to getting along with others in a shared living space? Transparency and honesty to the community but especially yourself. Know how you function in a community and be prepared to adjust and adapt based on what is needed.
What makes the Homestead experience unique, as contrasted with living on campus? Accountability to your surroundings. We are responsible for shaping how we want the Homestead to run and upholding those expectations and visions.
How do you predict your time at the Homestead will enhance your life after Denison? C’mon, how many people can casually say they know how to cook on a wood burning stove and live having cows for neighbors?! It makes me sound cool and interesting…
Most useful skill or life lesson learned at the Homestead? Remaining present emotionally and physically in a community that requires a large time commitment and still finding time for myself.
Hometown: New Albany, Ohio
Year: Graduating Fall 2019
Involvements: The Doobie, Hillel, The Bandersnatch
When did you know you wanted to live at the Homestead?When I visited during my senior year of high school, on Thanksgiving break, when there were no homies around. There were plenty of chickens and art in every corner… I didn’t even have to step foot inside a cabin to fall in love with the space and land.
What makes the Homestead experience unique? You have to make the trek to a Friday dinner and let yourself get lost on the land on a weekend to really get it. The Homestead is calling for your attention and your undivided time. When you can give that, the Homestead gives back.
Favorite meal to cook for a group? Radish soup! Cashew sour cream!
Best chore? My favorite chores are mowing the lawn and raking the compost, which are some of the dirtiest/sweatiest tasks. I feel like my best version of a homie while raking everyone else’s crap.
What’s the secret to getting along with others in a shared living space? Check in with people all the time and commit to asking for help when you need it and giving help when others need it. Before living at the Homestead I had never experienced a community of people so committed to understanding each others’ hopes, needs, and pitfalls.
Year: The year is 2017, but I am a sophomore.
Major/minor: English + Idk I will pick something else eventually
Involvements: Newark Think Tank on Poverty, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Art
When did you know you wanted to live at the Homestead? The second time I visited. The first time I visited I was too intimidated by how cool the space and everyone in it was to even consider living at the Homestead myself.
Myth about the homestead you’d like to dispel? It takes two more minutes to walk to the Homestead than to CVS. It’s not actually a far walk, at all!
What makes the Homestead experience unique, as contrasted with living on campus? It’s thousands of dollars cheaper. It leaves a much smaller ecological footprint. The homies are all super open to your weirdness, your sadness, and your joy. It is a home, not a dorm. It fosters autonomy and capability rather than dependency. It is a space that values the experiences of people who identify as LGBTQ+, POC, first generation, low-income, and other minorities.
How do you predict your time at the Homestead will enhance your life after Denison? Living at the Homestead is already strengthening my self-assurance and self-knowledge, which has a positive effect on all aspects of my life and, I believe, will last indefinitely.
Favorite space at the Homestead? Cabin Phoenix, where I live, is really cool because it is a greenhouse full of giant aloe plants and other lush foliage, and the natural light is AMAZING!
Pronouns: No preference
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Involvements: C.L. Herrick Geologic Society
When did you know you wanted to live at the Homestead?The first time I ever stepped foot at the Homestead I knew I wanted to live there. It was the only place on campus (or off campus I supposed) that I felt like I was always welcomed with open arms. I also realized my strong desire to learn to be self sufficient, improve the skills I already had, and learn new ones.
Favorite space at the Homestead? The Y-shaped tree down by the fire pit. I’ll put my hammock up in the tree and sit in the late afternoon sun and listen to the noises of the Homestead and relax.
Your most-beloved Homestead tradition? Homie marriages. We have platonic marriages that are testaments to our friendships, with a whole officiated ceremony, vows, and everything. They’re goofy and ridiculous and are one of the best times of the year.
How do you predict your time at the Homestead will enhance your life after Denison? The Homestead is definitely a difficult place to live. Sometimes the physical and emotional labor can get to be a lot. But everything I learn here will follow me for the rest of my life. I might not have to split wood to heat my first apartment, but I will have learned how to be responsible for my own space, what to look for in a home, how to be appreciative of the place I’m in, how to make decisions based on consensus, and most importantly how to live with and take care of other people.