A Porch Profile interviewer reflects on the significance of porches
By: Kayla mueller – Staff Writer
As I approached 300 College Park in an over-packed car for the first time as an incoming freshman, I insisted that my parents drive through the Ghetto. Upperclassmen proudly sat outside on their porches (or in baby pools) often with painted bed sheets pinned up on their houses. One sheet that I particularly remember said, “Welcome to the best four (or maybe five) years of your life.” As I reflect on my time thus far at Dayton, I can absolutely agree.
My years at UD have been some of the best years of my life, and this year I will continue to make more wonderful memories as I live with my best friends in the Ghetto. The day that I have seemingly waited forever for has come: I’ve finally earned a porch.
UD is unique in that we have student neighborhoods with porches that facilitate conversation and the ever-popular cliché “community.” Our porches serve as an extension of our homes that unite Flyers, not only current students, but also parents on family weekend and alumni who come back to visit. These wooden porches signify our home, our friendships with our roommates and the new friends that we have yet to meet.
Fortunately, I not only had the opportunity to experience these porches as a student, but also as a writer. As a staff member of Flyer News, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people through writing “Porch Profiles,” which feature roommates across campus. As a Porch Profile writer, I’ve been responsible for interviewing current students and getting to know them.
To begin a Porch Profile, I contacted a resident of each chosen house and arranged a date and time to conduct the interview. Then, I created questions that I thought the house might enjoy, questions that would describe the overall synergy of the house. Finally, I knocked on the door and usually left an hour later with a new set of friends.
I’ve written various articles as a staff writer for Flyer News, but Porch Profiles gave me the opportunity to be more creative than usual. I fed off of the energy and vibe of the house and often found myself creating new questions spontaneously once I learned the personalities of the group. Some of my favorite questions include “If you could create the ultimate creature by combining any two animals what would you pick?” or asking the roommates to assign superlatives to each other.
I especially enjoy writing Porch Profiles because I always leave with a new set of friends, and every time I run into these students we catch up just where we left off. As a result, I meet people who I may have never talked to before. I learn about other groups on campus, other lifestyles and other personalities. I am pushed out of my comfort zone, sometimes interviewing complete strangers, but this is why I find the experience so enjoyable.
These articles are fun to read because they don’t just feature athletes, or students who win exceptional awards; they represent the average Flyer. By singling out individual households, we can better understand the UD community as a whole. A single street address is no longer just a number, but a collection of Flyers that each have something unique to offer our community.
Fellow Flyers, my message to you at the start of another new school year is this: don’t forget the significance of these porches and embrace each new friendship that you have as a result of them. I challenge you to not only find comfort within your group of friends, but go out and meet other Flyers as I did through writing Porch Profiles. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
If you and your roommates are interested in featuring your house as a Porch Profile, contact A&E Editor Katie Christoff at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your address, the names of everyone living there and one good reason why your house should be featured.