Campus Cribs: (Room)mating for life

I recently heard tell of a mysterious duo on campus, a pair of students who had managed to cultivate a nearly five-year roommate-ship.

This was the rumor that led me to turn this week’s Campus Cribs spotlight on Tucker Dayton ’14 and Peter Sullivan ’14. And, while they later corrected my information, the story of their cohabitation proved no less interesting than the gossip.

“We’ve only been roommates for two years,” Dayton explained as I settled in across the booth from them at Lee Snack Bar last week. “We went to Deerfield [Academy] together but were never roommates there.” Dayton went on to tell me that all freshmen and sophomores at Deerfield live in singles, something that didn’t discourage the two of them: Dayton and Sullivan selected neighboring rooms during their junior and senior years.

As for their decision to come to the College, after years of school together, it was only natural to continue the trend. “I actually decided to come before you did,” Dayton quipped. Sullivan fired back, and the two exchanged staccato protests before settling back into silence. “I guess you might’ve picked first,” Dayton admitted, and as he did so, I realized this was like watching bickering brothers teeter into compromise.

Determined to be first-year roommates once they arrived in the Purple Valley, Dayton and Sullivan took the process into their own hands. “We e-mailed Aaron Gordon and said we wanted to live together. Surprisingly, he told us it was no problem.” And, sure enough, the dynamic duo was assigned to the same room – a cramped double in Mission Park. “We had to bunk it up,” Dayton said of the room, which was too small to accommodate both boys standing up at once. “I was top bunk,” Dayton said, with Sullivan chirping “and I was bottom bunk” at nearly the same moment. Though they were able to make the best of this first room, cramped quarters left them craving prime real estate in their sophomore year. It’s no surprise, then, that a migration to the spacious luxury of Tyler was a tempting option. “I don’t really know how we decided to live together again,” Dayton said, trying to recall the room draw process. “I didn’t really want to live with him, but I guess it just happened regardless,” Sullivan said, leaning into the booth to give his roommate a teasing nudge.

They ended up snagging a room that Dayton would title “the biggest double on campus” and Sullivan has affectionately dubbed “two-oh-fun.” Approximately 20 feet square, the room was inherited from Joe Haddad ’13 and Evan Dugdale ’13, another pair of Deerfield grads who partnered up upon arriving at the College. The room features a pair of oversized beds (Dayton’s queen-size and Sullivan’s full) as well as an L-shaped sofa they swiped from Sullivan’s basement. “I drove down to Sully’s before school started and put half the sofa in the back and half strapped to the roof.” Dayton said, gesturing wildly. “We had this thing jerry-rigged to the top of my car, and everyone’s wondering who on earth this eyesore was driving around with a beat-up old couch on the roof.”

The walls are adorned with the pair’s jersey collection, consisting of over a dozen pinnies from youth hockey, soccer and lacrosse leagues (here at the College, Dayton plays hockey and the duo are teammates on the lacrosse team). A refrigerator houses the jars of peanut butter Dayton consumes by the spoonful. Another highlight is their full-size water cooler, which Sullivan describes as “highly economical.” The pair is also looking forward to beginning work on a so-called “wall of legends,” which will feature photographs of “true legends,” including Sullivan’s dad and Kate Upton, a model and cousin of teammate Stephen Upton ’14. “At least three of her,” Sullivan said.

Between their easy demeanors and second-year shot at living together, it’d be easy to assume Dayton and Sullivan are very similar; occasionally, they are even mistaken for one another. They’re quick to elaborate on their differences, though, and are “very opposite roommates,” in Dayton’s words. “He’ll clean everything up while I just throw my stuff everywhere,” Sullivan said. “He’s super neat, and I’m really messy. I like to sleep, and he’s an early riser.” Their allegiances differ on the gridiron, too, as Dayton is a die-hard Patriots fan while Sullivan roots for the Giants.

And still, in the face of substantially different schedules and in the wake of a tension-riddled Super Bowl game, they manage to make it work. With the understanding built on longtime friendship and the help of blackout curtains, the high school teammates have forged a partnership. Though the jars of peanut butter, the jersey collection and the economical water cooler are all attractions, the real reason to visit “Tyler 2-oh-fun” may just be the residents.

As they take jabs at one another towards the tail end of our interview, I joke that they are like an old married couple. “We kind of are,” Dayton said. “No we’re not,” Sullivan argued. And, just like that, they’re off again.