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East Fairchild: A place to call home

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Cherubs Karina Aronson, left, and Annika Singh snack in their friend's room. Photo by Lauren Kee

From DIY haircuts to Taylor Swift listening parties, cherubs have turned East Fairchild into a second home.

Nicole Markus, the community and academic associate for the first floor and a rising Northwestern junior, said she scheduled weekly floor bonding activities. But soon, Markus said students created connections of their own.

“The first couple times, I had to organize stuff because everyone was shy,” Markus said. “But now, if I don’t organize any activities, cherubs are always sitting in the lounge and hanging out anyway.”

Swifties bonded over the re-release of Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” album, holding listening parties on the first and third floors, complete with purple balloons and snacks. Third-floor fans baked “Speak Now”-themed cookies and decorated them with purple and white icing. Two of them dissed Swift’s ex-boyfriend John Mayer – one with his face and one with a red X across his name. 

“We split him in half and ate him because John Mayer is the bad John,” Clementine Zei of Wellesley, Massachusetts, said. “We had a good John cookie for John Kupetz, and we drew each of Taylor Swift’s cats onto cookies.”

The dorm is also a place for self-care. Ishaan Tipirneni of Lexington, Massachusetts, said he received a free haircut on the second floor from a fellow cherub.

“We went to Target and bought, like, a $22 beard trimmer razor not meant for hair at all,” Tipirneni said. “He just cut my hair and that turned out better than it was before. It was a floor bonding thing because at least two-thirds of the floor was there at some point to watch the haircut, including our CAA. It also brought Carlo and me closer together because putting that much faith in someone is a big deal.”

On the third floor, Ellie McManamy of Kansas City, Missouri, has baked banana bread and chocolate chip cookies, luring visitors to the kitchen, McManamy said. 

“Every time I’m baking, someone will come in and ask, ‘What are you cooking?’” McManamy said. “Everyone wants a piece of whatever we’re making, and it’s a good way to bring us all together.”

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