It’s More than Just a Delicious Cookie.
You may have heard the story of how the grove House came to Pitzer’s campus in 1970. How Pitzer students fought for it’s preservation, and purchased the home in auction for $1. You might have heard exclamations of joy and passion over the mouth-watering food the kitchen puts out. Even a tantilizing description of an oozing fried egg sandwich and warm, gooey, double chocolate mocha cookie for lunch. All of this is true, but the Grove House is so much more than just that. it is a home. It is a refuge. It is a center of community, connection, and activity.
As a first-year student in college, I had difficulty finding comfort in a time of immense transition. I often felt isolated, even though I had the most lovely suite of girls who remain my best friends to this day. I sought comfort in the outdoors, as I was familiar with Southern California, having grown up in Santa Barbara, but this often took me off campus. One of the first Thursdays of school, a bi-monthly event entitled Story Slam, was held in the living room of the Grove House. Modeled after “The Moth”, story slam brings students together to share stories of any nature. A theme is presented for each evening, and anyone can choose whether they would like to share or not. SUddenly, I felt a sense of connection to a large group of Pitzer students, many of which I did not even know their name. I began spending more time in this home, trying out the infamous sandwich combinations, writing essays upstairs in the Womyn’s Center, reading on the porch, and making connections with new people each day as we shared this incredible space with one another.
Since these first months, I have spent increasingly more time in this home. I now work in the kitchen, serving breakfast two mornings a week. I am an active member of the Grove House Committee, the club that plans logistics of the events that happen in the house, and works to preserve the 112 year old home. Many of my other various club meetings happen in the house, and I continue to do my work in the nooks throughout the downstairs and upstairs of the house. When prospective students ask, “Why Pitzer?”, the importance of this community center is always the first thing I speak of. This community has given me constant support during my two years here, and I can attribute a large part of my personal growth to the people and activities the community has connected me with.
Posted by Casey Venturelli ’16, Dance and Sociology