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Credit: Photo from Penn Women's Swim Team

Even before she came to Penn, Wharton senior Kendall D’Amore knew how close the Penn women's lacrosse team was.

“When I came on my visit, I got to see all the girls living together and how much fun they had together,” D’Amore said. “It really was like a family.”

The women's lacrosse team is just one of many sports teams and clubs at Penn that boast an unofficial "off-campus house" for its members. Some houses are passed down, while others have addresses that vary year to year. However, one thing remains: constant interaction with teammates and fellow club members. 

D’Amore enjoys that cultural aspect of her team's house.

“As far as seeing the girls all the time, I think that is the best part of it,” D’Amore said. “I think it took us a month of living together to get two times closer than we had grown all of freshmen year.”

Wharton freshman Kwaku Owusu is a member of the Glee Club and plans on living in the club’s house near 40th and Spruce streets next year as a sophomore. Owusu is hopeful that his experience next year will be a positive one.

“I doubt that it will be really bad … I really like the people in Glee [and I want] to get a nice experience living off campus.”

Owusu thinks that living in the Glee Club house, commonly referred to as “The Glouse,” will allow him to grow even closer to fellow Glee members.

“It's nice to live in a place with your club that is your main family on campus.”

College junior Virginia Burns is a member of the swim team and finds that the team, much like the Glee Club and lacrosse team, is incredibly close. Burns finds that because she lives in close quarters with many of her teammates, she is more accountable academically and athletically. And because they live in the same house, Burns and her fellow swimmers are usually on the same page.

“If one of us is complaining about the frat behind us throwing a party, we all are.”

Since many members of the team are on similar schedules, Burns says that sometimes the kitchen gets crowded or all the showers get taken. Despite this, she sees benefits to being surrounded by her teammates.

“At some times it gets a little old when every conversation comes back to, ‘When do we have practice today?’” Burns said. “But it's also nice if you are having one of those bad days to have someone to talk to.”

Burns recognizes that living with her teammates sets her housing experience apart from many of her peers.

“I have found that when I go to other houses they always seem to be a bit quieter … I feel like we are rare in that we are always together, we learn each others’ quirks and cohabitate very well together.”