by Tim Comstock
In most cases, people only know that Palmer Hall is a tiny building on the south edge of Cedarville’s campus.
It frequently gets forgotten among its other neighbors on the Hill: Carr, Rogers, and Marshall Hall. To residents of Palmer, however, “We’re from the Hill but not of the Hill,” says freshman Jacob Eileff.
Palmer RA Ethan Doerstling says, “It’s a smaller group of people than your average dorm. So you get to know each other a little better, I’d say. It’s also a little bit secluded. [That’s] good because you’re not as distracted trying to do homework. It’s also a bit fun to be off the beaten path and to tell people ‘I’m from Palmer’.”
“Part of the norm is that people are just hanging out in the lounge,” says Doerstling. Everyday life in the dorm includes homework, playing music, playing games, and Doerstling says that it’s a fairly relaxed experience overall.
Another special part of Palmer is the tight-knit “atmosphere of where you’re able to be with people; where it’s not super intense but you’re also still involved. On the spectrum of involvement with other people and studying, I really like where Palmer lies,” says Doerstling.
Many Palmer traditions revolve around the taxidermied black bear head hanging in the dorm lounge. The bear’s name is Arnold. He’s believed to be 62 years old.
Arnold, the 62-year-old bear that lives in Palmer Hall’s lounge.
A notable hall tradition is that on the morning of a Palmer freshman’s busiest weekdays, Arnold will be placed out front of that freshman’s door. Doerstling says that it’s the freshman’s responsibility to carry the bear around everywhere for the rest of the day. The freshman’s main duty is to protect it from being stolen by other dorms. The freshman also takes pictures with it and signs the back of Arnold’s mount at the end of the day.
“I think we are the only dorm with a mascot. And that makes everyone jealous of us. And that’s why everyone wants to steal Arnold all the time,” says sophomore Donald Osborn.
Considering the number of ransom notes for Arnold tacked onto Palmer’s dorm bulletin board, Osborn’s assertion that “everybody wants to steal Arnold” isn’t an exaggeration.
Arnold is a large part of what makes Palmer unique. “He encompasses our quirky weirdness and sense of fun,” says Eileff.
Palmer isn’t just a tiny building with a black-bear head, however. It’s a family living out their 1,000 days one day at a time.
Tim Comstock is a sophomore Innovative and Industrial Design Major. He enjoys listening to and playing music, hanging out with friends, making art, and loves mint in almost anything.