Free-Substance Housing: Inside Davidson’s Newest First-Year Residential Community

CANNON —  For the 22 first-year students who recently settled into their rooms on 5th Cannon, the hall is more than just a new home. The testing ground for a revolutionary new first-year living community, 5th Cannon has been designated by RLO as a “Free-Substance Hall.” The fledgling living experience was an immensely popular option among members of the Class of 2023 in their summer housing survey. 

The Residence Life section of Davidson’s website clearly outlines the mission of the college’s newest thematic hall, as well as its standards. The page reads:

“We offer free substances for those students who wish to participate in a visionary, new-age residential community. Students living in these communities agree to safely consume alcohol on their floor and learn to properly manage the effects of such substances on the hall. Failure to uphold the expectations will likely result in relocation to another assignment.” 

Davidson has long offered first-year students the option to live on a substance-free hall. Many students over the years have thoroughly enjoyed these communities, prompting college officials to look for more ways to create similar experiences for students. 

“The Free-Substance Hall is an attempt to provide a space for those students wishing to partake in rather frequent alcohol consumption in their first year at Davidson,” explained trustee Tom Collins ’76. “We are thrilled to provide each member of the hall with a 12-pack each week, for no charge, in order to ensure that they can thrive in this environment.”

Students living on 5th Cannon may also request a weekly delivery of White Claw, as opposed to  beer, in an effort to better cater to the preferences of Generation Z. “It’s the least we can do to make sure our students are enjoying their time on campus!,” remarked RLO staffer Jonathan Daniels.

Outspoken critic of campus social life Teresa Dawson ’20 spoke in supportive terms when asked about ‘Keystown,’ as the hall has become colloquially known. 

“I think it’s absolutely phenomenal,” remarked Dawson, “This is an important step in addressing many of the problematic issues with Davidson’s drinking culture. Increasing crackdowns of Court and apartment spaces have pushed students who wish to consume alcohol to do so in secret, isolated pregame settings in residence halls, further fostering dangerous tendencies. This newfound embrace of a drunk-positive culture by RLO is groundbreaking and will help normalize safer habits in our community, and I for one am here for it.”

At press time, Kevin Teeter and Nick Livingston, a roommate pair who mistakenly selected Free-Substance Housing instead of Substance-Free Housing in a June housing survey, were seen moving a 48-inch plasma TV into Cannon 506. Sources tell The Yowl that the purchase was financed by a small but wildly profitable racketeering operation involving the pair’s sale of their unwanted alcohol to fellow first-years living on the lower floors of Cannon.  

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