Dorm Life: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

BY COLE MCNANNA // APRIL 23, 2015 //

With a new class of students moving onto campus come September, I thought it best to let them know the good, the bad and the ugly concerning dorm life. Because everyone lives different experiences, though, I asked around to find out what others on campus thought.

To be sure, there were a wide variety of responses when residents were asked, “What are the best and the worst things about living in a residence hall?”

The most unusual reply was that Mayflower, an older first-year residence hall, offered a “homey” living experience. Junior Ana Pearson reflected on her first year, and noted that she had a beautiful view of the sunset from her bedroom window. Pearson remarked that she really enjoyed the unique view, which helped set the tone for the rest of her year.

South Campus Residence Hall (SCRH).
South Campus Residence Hall (SCRH).

As sophomores living in 886, survey respondents gave positive responsesabout the increase in room size and the upkeep of the building.Another positive is the presence of an elevator in 886. Many students benefitted from being able to move quickly up and down the floors.

For juniors and seniors surveyed, Suites came into play. Suites give a sense of the future. Apartment-style living gives a peak into what life may look like after Curry.

Residents surveyed praised the common areas in residence halls on North Side. Common areas are a good place to get studying done, but are also a good place to hang out during the day. Common areas offer flat-screen TVs, tables and chairs .

Also, free laundry may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but “free” is many college students’ favorite word.

Some students felt that the ability to control heat and air conditioning—in buildings where it applies—was among the best parts of dorm life. It was one of the most common and highly ranked positive responses, and does come into play on a New England campus where the weather changes every 20 minutes.

The second-best aspect of life on the North Side of campus is the close proximity to the academic quad, said those surveyed. When you don’t quite want to get out of bed in the morning before your 8:30 a.m. statistics class, you can still get to class in less than five minutes.

Finally, the best thing about campus life in residence halls is the comradery and friendship you build with roommates and neighbors. Especially during the first week or so of freshmen year, everyone is hoping to meet new people and make new friends right off the bat.

As with most things in life, there are good things and bad things about living on-campus. Some student complaints included living on the third floor in a building without an elevator, loud vacuuming during early-morning hours, the walls being thin enough to hear your neighbors, the disrespect of quiet hours, a consistent “weird” smell haunting Mayflower, the uphill walk to classes, and frequent fire alarms.

The third-most common complaint was damage charges. Most of the time, you don’t receive notice of the charge until weeks after the damage is done. Worse, residents wind up paying for something that wasn’t their fault.

Another complaint is more of an awkward nuisance than anything else—showering with flip-flops on. It’s a major adjustment coming from your own clean shower at home to sharing showers with floor-mates.

Lastly, the most common negative response was the mess in the bathrooms. Sometimes people don’t flush or clean off the toilet seat when they miss, and trash bins often get overfilled. The list can go on and on regarding the nasty thing people do in residence hall bathrooms, and most readers know exactly what I’m talking about.

But in the end, I received far more positive responses than negative ones, which I was a little surprised about. And they all came straight from the source!

Robberies in Residence Halls


A group of Curry students took part in a game of “manhunt” Sunday evening, April 12, on the south side of campus. Little did they know things would turn into a real-life investigation.

During the game—a combination of “hide and go seek” and tag—junior Tyler Koning, a communication major, saw a group of young people behind SCRH. One of them had just jumped out of a common room window. A pair of Curry students confronted the strangers, and one of them instantly ran away with what turned out to be a stolen cellphone.

Public Safety was contacted. According to Chief Brian Greeley, Public Safety then contacted the Milton Police Department. Ultimately, the five young people were allowed to leave campus because Milton Police decided a crime was not committed. None of them were in possession of stolen property.

PHOTO BY HEATHER, creative commons
PHOTO BY HEATHER, creative commons

This was not the first robbery from a student residence hall. On March 31, students reported two separate incidents, at 886 and Suites, in which property was stolen through open windows. Public Safety notified the campus community, and asked students to take greater precautions, including locking first-floor windows. Another on-campus robbery also occurred in early November.

“I personally think that Public Safety needs to start focusing more on having coverage around each gate on campus, rather than wasting time in residence halls,” said junior Sammie Jacobs, a management major. “The other night really opened my eyes because it never occurred to me how unsafe we all can be until I personally experienced the incident. We’re lucky just a phone got stolen, and no one got hurt.”

According to students familiar with Sunday night’s investigation, the young people were from Hyde Park and simply walked onto campus at around 9 p.m. The fact the trespassers were allowed to leave campus without consequence bothered a number of Curry students.

“Regardless of their age, and whether they were minors or not, PS still should’ve done something—instead of allowing them to just walk away with no punishment, leaving them to feel like they can just do it again,” said junior Shannon Hickey, a nursing major.

In an interview this week, Greeley said the kids would be immediately arrested if found on the campus again.

“Just like most colleges, we have several entrances and exits,” he said. “We can control who comes on campus in automobiles, however, we rely on our college—such as students, faculty, etc.—to realize if something doesn’t look right so they can call Public Safety, and we can check it out.

“Public safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Greeley added, “therefore we want everyone to be involved.”