Doug Cutchins, the College’s Director of Service and Social Commitment, is also a Grinnell alum from the class of graduating class of 1993. As a first-year, he resided in our very own Langan Hall. Cutchins, after 20 years, returned to Langan to spend the weekend, only this time with two kids and his wife.
With the departure of former RLC Rachel Meseke this past week, the Langan RLC apartment was left vacant posing the question of what to do with this prime campus real estate. Cutchins saw the open apartment as an opportunity to foster a deeper relationship with the student body after SGA’s request for more contact with administrators. “I thought it was a great way that we could just be very human and get in the dorms and have the opportunity to interact with the students in a different way, Cutchins said. “Houston [Dougharty] thought it was a great idea and I thought, well, because I came up with the idea I’d offer to pilot it.”Doug Cutchins, his wife, Anne Geissinger, and their two kids, Emma, seven, and Bea, five, had a packed weekend on campus. They participated in the ISO Cultural fashion show, ate lunch in the dining hall, and attended the Percussion and Marimba Ensemble’s performance.
The Cutchins clan even made an appearance in Darby to cheer on the men’s basketball team in their tournament game against Lawrence. The girls brought their A-game and provided the fans with puppets to wave during free-throw shots. “Sometimes they worked. Sometimes they didn’t,” Emma said.
Bea, however, was a little concerned that her spirit wouldn’t show. “Even though I was rooting for the pioneers, I accidentally weared a blue dress!” Bea said.
The Cutchins girls also spent some time scoping out the apartment and the dormitories where they found hidden treasures such as a paddle ball and plastic hand clappers. They also discovered the posters that list the residents’ birthdates and were pleased to find that they shared birthdays with other north-campus dwellers—Bea had two “birthday buddies” and Emma had one.
What the girls enjoyed most was baking cookies and delivering them door-to-door across campus. The girls said they enjoyed delivering the cookies because it meant they could interact with the “big kids,” an element of the weekend they particularly liked.
Overall, the family felt that the experience was a success. “It was really about interacting with the students and having fun with them and I think we definitely did that,” Cutchins said.
Although no more stays have been officially planned, the RLC apartment is open for more Student Affairs visits. When asked if they would return the girls responded with a resounding yes. Next time, they’d like to add air hockey to the list o’ fun. And they’d like you to join.