From the belly of the administrative beast: My housing assignment in Dennis Assanis’s home

Limited on-campus housing leads to an uncomfortable stay at Dennis Assanis' house.

An innocuous comment led to so much more.

BY Managing Mosaic Editor

I think I can speak for everybody at the university when I say that learning Fall 2020 would be fully online was, while understandable, profoundly disappointing, especially as a senior.

For days, I mourned the full college experience we’d all miss out on in a radically different campus atmosphere and lamented the loss of my assigned apartment. Like many others, I was contracted to be given on-campus housing for the year.

My sadness was, however, short-lived. Just as I settled into the realization that I would be living at home for another semester while slowly going insane, I received a curious letter from Residence Life. Fearing the contents of the message, I shut my eyes tight and allowed myself only a slight squint as I opened the email.


We couldn’t be more disappointed that the University of Delaware Blue Hens Flock (trademark pending) won’t all be together on campus
this fall, but we’re pleased to announce an experimental, new housing dynamic for select students to participate in!

Your comment request left on our Instagram page did not go unnoticed; university President Dennis Assanis is pleased to announce that
he is opening his home for one lucky Blue Hen this semester, and that’s you! Move-in information will be sent soon. Get ready for the
best semester of your life!”

My mouth was dry. “Roommates,” I thought, “with Dennis Assanis?” This had to be a practical joke. Sure, I’d passed the president’s house a handful of times while out walking, but to live there with the man himself was another thing entirely. And what of his family? Would I become some kind of temporary third son for my final Fall semester of my college career?

I didn’t have to wait long for answers. Before I knew it, my move-in time had arrived, and I was unloading all of my belongings onto the curb in front of Dr. Assanis’ house. What a world!

Assanis himself was kind enough, though he seemed uncomfortable with the whole move-in process. Apparently the Board decided to move his wife into the little alcove in Trabant across from the multi-purpose rooms. That’s rough, buddy.

I’ve only been here for a few days now, but we quickly settled into a rhythm, alternating cooking and dish duties. It’s a struggle getting acclimated to another person’s sleep schedule, especially when they insist on constantly wearing Crocs in a house with nothing but hardwood floors. If anything, this experience has so far only bolstered my belief that people who wear shoes inside of their homes all day are psychopaths.

The most troubling, and frankly, intimidating habit of my new roommate became apparent the morning after I moved in.

7:05 AM, I awake with a start to the loud groaning of furniture on hardwood. The Crocs shuffle around impatiently in between the ear-splitting screeches of couches, chairs, tables and shelves alike being shuffled around the room just below mine.

I couldn’t withstand more than two minutes before making my way downstairs as I angrily tied off the Blue Hens™ morning robe Dennis let me borrow, my soft YouDee™ slippers padding down the hardwood stairs.

“Good morning!” Dennis said cheerfully as he hovered around an enormous shuffleboard table stretching the length of the room. Okay.

Apparently he’s a “shuffleboard fanatic” and can only play in the living room filled with furniture because it’s the only place on the property that has the right “vibe.” Okay.

The annoyances continued to pile up. The halls echoed with the canned laughter of CBS’ “Young Sheldon,” conversations with the Board or his wife, still exiled to Trabant, droned on into the night.

I only noticed more serious things after I got used to his routines. Last night around 2:00 AM, I silently crept downstairs, past the living room where Dennis had fallen asleep on the shuffleboard table and into his bedroom.

I’m not sure why I did it. A gut feeling, perhaps? Some subliminal message hidden behind Dennis’ insistence that I teach him how to start a successful Twitch channel for streaming Warzone?

Whatever the case, what I found on his desk was nothing short of shocking. A manilla folder filled with elaborate blueprints detailing the eSports Arena 2.0, a sequel to the much-loved and much-needed campus addition completed just last year.

“Do you like it?” asked a voice from behind. Dennis. I spun around to face my roommate, who was standing ominously in the doorway in his Blue Hens™ pajama set.

“Yes, I love it,” I stammered, unsure of what the consequences of my espionage would be. “That’s great to hear,” he continued, “we must keep our university at the cutting edge of culture and technology.” With that I left the room and returned to my own, comforted only by the hope that he might forget the whole incident by morning.

It is my hope that my living situation doesn’t have too much of an impact on my academics this semester. I’m not sure how long I will last in this house given what I’ve already described. I look forward to updating readers on the situation further on in the future. He’s standing in my doorway looking at me right now.


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  • comment-avatar
    Abby 3 months

    this was AMAZING

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