While campus life at UP has mainly been online, a large majority of the student body has been living in off campus housing in the University Park neighborhood. From themed dinners to spending time outside, these various off campus houses have found creative ways to build their own sense of community during an isolating global pandemic. Inspired by local photographers who captured the beginning stages of the pandemic, Beacon photographer Molly Lowney set out to create UP’s own Front Porch Project.
Clara Zimmerman, Macey Schondel, Francesca Duncan and Meredith McMurray live in “Corrib House” named in memory of Schondel’s and McMurray’s time studying in Ireland. Over quarantine, Corrib House kept life interesting by holding holiday celebrations where they would decorate the house and have a themed dinner. Doing puzzles during the initial lockdown, eating dinner on the kitchen floor and petting neighborhood cats were also fond memories of everyone in the house.
Seniors Siena Falzon, Kat Kirby, Brittany Ligman and Emily Caley have been living together since August throughout the virtual school year. One of their favorite memories was a “Galentine’s” night where they dressed up, decorated the house and took themed photos. Game nights and Monday evenings watching The Bachelor were also highlights of their time living together.
The residents of “Swing House”, seniors Margaux Lynch, Meghan Powers, Meg Bender, Ben Kayser, Andre Jaurigui and Nick Visenio, love the tree swing in their front yard. Sitting outside and using the swing is one of their fondest memories that helped them through the pandemic. After a slight hiccup where the swing broke ominously on New Year’s Day, the swing and all its memories are back stronger than ever.
Taryn Ligot, Molly Hitchens and Madi McLaughlin have fond memories of their time living in “The Fort” together over the past year. One of their favorite moments was an all day “Galentine’s” extravaganza that included fancy outfits and a heart shaped pizza.
The residents of “The Nest” have spent the past year together hosting house dinners, playing Just Dance and running to Fredmeyer whenever ice cream went on sale. Gertie the goose is the house mascot (one of nearly 30 geese related items in the house). Gertie dons a different seasonal outfit from month to month. One of the housemates’ favorite memories was cooking tacos on a miniature barbeque when the University Park neighborhood lost power back in February.
For Kate DeVries, Caroline Cavaliere and Bobby Hodgins, their experience living off campus this year has been awesome. Lovingly dubbed “Awesome House” the three housemates spent the year “being awesome and grilling delicious burgers.”
Hannah Harrision and Mikelle Kelly live in “The House of John Mulaney,” where in addition to their love of comedy, they spent time exercising over quarantine. One of their favorite memories was doing “Matcha Workouts” where comedian Greta Titleman would lead social media followers through a workout then encourage them to reward themselves with a matcha latte.
Seniors Kristen Uskovich, Valerie Truong, Emma Wells have spent the past living together. One of their favorite traditions is what they call “Thursday/Friday,” where on Thursday nights they take the night off of homework and get takeout food together. Sometimes the night will include baking or watching episodes of The Vampire Diaries, but it always acts as a celebration of the coming weekend.
Molly Lowney is a photographer for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.