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Amy Gutmann to Live in Rodin Next Year


Photo by DP Design Staff

Rodin College House residents of the 2017-2018 school year, some of you will be President Amy Gutmann’s hall mates.

Gutmann will be living on the 10th floor of Rodin next year, as part of an initiative she has called “Engagement at the Most Local Level.”

Her lottery number only allowed her a single in Rodin. She said the Harrison College House and Harnwell College House options during her lottery slot were only quads, and she was wary about having three random roommates.

A source close to the president told The Daily Pennsylvanian that Gutmann has initiated awkward Facebook messenger conversation with a potential roommate — former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Singles in the high rises are damn expensive," she said when asked about having a potential roommate in her single. "I will probably need someone to split the cost with." 

Although Gutmann knows about the leaks and issues common to Rodin, she still believes it is the best choice for her. She felt it was important to live in a single and only have a roommate who is also over 50, as she is several decades older than most college students. 

“I wish I was in a residential program,” she said. “Then, maybe I could get a single in Harnwell."

She noted that the perpetual smell of foot, as well as Harnwell's proximity to Starbucks under Commons, were rather appealing. 

But Gutmann added that she's just happy to be in a high-rise. "Nothing says ‘home’ like seven-foot ceilings, paper-thin walls, and inadequate lighting," she said. 

Future Rodin resident and Wharton freshman Sarah Cohen requested a double in Rodin and will be on Gutmann’s floor. Cohen was excited at the prospect of getting to know the president on a more personal level, but she also expressed concerns.

"Coming from the quad, I was excited to be able to smoke weed in my room more freely in the high rises," she said. “I can’t do that if the president is living next door."

To fully “engage,” Gutmann said she plans to make full use of the facilities around her — she plans to do laundry in the machines on her floor (“I’m lucky I’m on an even-numbered floor!”) and to do her presidential work in the rooftop lounge. She even entertained the idea of printing in the computer lab.

She plans to be quite visible in Rodin, more so than now from her home in New York. She may even practice her headstands in her floor’s lounge.

“I admit, I am pretty curious as to whether or not she can actually do a headstand,” Cohen said. “But I don’t know if it’s worth living next door to the University president to find out the answer to that question."

Gutmann’s RA for next year will be Engineering junior Greg Samson.

“I’m not sure how to exercise any authority over her,” he said. “That’s fine, though. I don't think I have to worry about her vomiting in the halls."

Gutmann said she’s serious about her Rodin plans. “To promote local engagement, I actually plan to live there,” she said. “At least for the first week."

Student reactions have been primarily positive. 

“I think Amy G. has been detached from undergraduate students for quite some time, so this move is a really nice signal of her dedication,” College freshman Ryan DelGaudio said.

“Selfies are one thing, but living alongside us — that’s huge,” Engineering sophomore and Rodin resident Kayla Prezelski said.