With enough space for just 25 female students, Henderson House isn’t likely to be a stop on a Campus Day tour anytime soon.
Purchased in 1945 to deal with a housing shortage for women, the co-op remains one of the best-kept secrets on campus – and the University’s smallest residence hall.
For a fraction of the price of most other University residences, the house offers residents fully furnished single and double rooms that include all meals, utilities and limited parking at no extra cost. Though Henderson House expenses total just $563 per month, LSA junior Charlotte Peterson said the co-op has “all the benefits of the dorms with more independence.”
Similar to other residence halls, the University handles all maintenance and repairs there, but Henderson residents do the rest, which includes making nightly meals for housemates and cleaning the building. An elected student manager is responsible for making a list of all individual duties based on residents’ schedules for the semester.
Folake Famoye, a third-year Nursing student, said residents don’t mind working to keep the dorm tidy.
Most Henderson residents are juniors and seniors, but the required application and interview process allows sophomores and graduate students to live there, too.
Kathleen Bachynski, a graduate student in the School of Public Health and resident of Henderson for the last three years, said she loves living there.
“It feels like a home away from home,” she said.
Residents agreed that their home was extremely tight-knit, but emphasized that Henderson is different from the preconceived notions about living in a co-op.
“I’m not a hippie, I don’t smoke pot, and we actually keep our house clean,” LSA junior Stephanie Vogel said.
Unlike the other all-female residence halls on campus, Henderson doesn’t enforce rules about guests or curfew. House rules are determined by group consensus and by individual roommate contracts.
While Henderson does operate on a structured schedule, it’s still a nice place to live, said LSA senior Erika Barraza, the co-op’s president.
“Common courtesy is the main rule in our home,” she said.