11 Posts That Speak The Truth About Dorm Life

  1. No matter if it’s 6 a.m. or 9 p.m., these are always true. Countless times I found myself avoiding people crying on the phone around Thanksgiving (often referred to as Breaksgiving due to the high number of break ups) at all hours.

2. I can’t deny writing a few pass-aggressive notes in my time. The best example of this that I witnessed (I swear I wasn’t involved) was in the bathrooms of James Hall my freshman year. Our bathrooms were communal, and one girl left a note on the shower for everyone to see about having sex in the shower. Also, my friend used to sneeze in Adams Hall and her neighbors would yell back “Bless you!”

quiet sex image
via http://www.buzzfeed.com/brittneygibson/images-that-scream-i-live-in-a-college-dorm#.viGbdPdMb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Trust me, you will pile in a car as soon as you find someone with keys. We used to hike it to the Athens County Fairgrounds, almost a mile away, just to drive out to the movie theater. One of my favorite college memories was going to the Hunger Games premiere in my friend’s SUV. I’m pretty sure we fit 10 people in the car!

having a car in dorm'
via http://www.buzzfeed.com/moerder/things-youll-do-your-first-semester-of-college#.wnj2qNq52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Your room will probably smell, and you’ll look for ways to fix it. A classic dorm fix is the “dryer sheet-on-the-AC-unit,” releasing a constant smell of ‘Clean Linen.’ Not to worry, those without AC units. Febreze might mask whatever odors are in your room.

desk not for studying
via http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/things-that-inevitably-happen-while-living-in-a-college-d#.riPWlAl5W

5. My desk became a storage area whether it was for my winter coat, packets of Ramen or $300 textbooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Athens is the home of late night foods. No matter the condition you eat them in, probably half of the food joints uptown are open for late night hours. A break from the dining halls is much needed, so don’t regret that 2 a.m. charge on your debit card.

pizza at 2 am
via http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/things-that-inevitably-happen-while-living-in-a-college-d#.riPWlAl5W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Free. Stuff. If I had to sum up my time in the dorm, it would be that they’ll bribe you to do pretty much anything with food. Study with food, taking a bystander course with food or even learn about safe sex with food.

8. Ah, the college Jenga. A classic route to avoid taking out the recycling or trash, especially when you live on the fourth floor. If you join hall council in the building you live in, you may even get to take other people’s trash out to raise money!

via http://imgur.com/gallery/alqulI0
via http://imgur.com/gallery/alqulI0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. In Sargent Hall, I was blessed with the ability to live in the same hall as the wrestlers. I was NOT blessed to have the ability to smell the wrestlers. The first floor was a mouth-breathing only zone.

floor that smells
via http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/things-that-inevitably-happen-while-living-in-a-college-d#.riPWlAl5W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. This sarcastic tweet speaks the truth for real. I always thought I was going to be able to live in Bromley Hall my sophomore year. Little did I know, the second day of room selection wasn’t even good enough to get a renovated dorm.

 

11. “Easy as 1, 2, 3” yet there are seven steps in this graphic. When you run into problems, it can be tough to get them resolved. Once, I had a bat family living in my air conditioning unit. I had to submit a maintenance request three times before the “bat man” came to fix the hole in my air conditioning unit that the bats had crawled through.

 

The “Dos and Don’ts” of Dorm Bathrooms

Living in the dorms is an adventure that every college student should experience. You will have your good dorm days, and your bad, but those days are the ones you’ll remember most. But, before you move in, make sure you follow these bathroom dos and don’ts.

The Court Street Stories Dorm Bathroom Dos and Don’ts 

  1. DO wear flip-flops when going to the bathroom. The floors in bathrooms are only (poorly) cleaned once a week, so it’s a breeding ground for fungus. Unless you want nasty yellow feet, I suggest throwing on a pair of sandals. You don’t want hair stuck on the bottom of your feet, either.      

  2. DON’T make hair art on the walls of the showers. You know, those rorschach test-looking things? The clumps of hair that look like small rodents? Yeah, don’t put those on the walls. We don’t want your dead, old, long hair right above the shower handle. You may have gotten away with this at home, but you won’t here.

  3. DO get a shower caddy big enough for all your products. No one likes fumbling around with shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, body wash, etc. Get a shower caddy with drain holes and forget about the fumbling around. Also, who wants to set their stuff down directly on the shower floor? Gross.

  4. DON’T pour food down the sinks. Most likely, you’ll share a dorm bathroom with almost 20 people, and may only have 3-4 sinks. When someone decides to pour ramen down one of the sinks, POOF! It’s clogged and you can’t use it until maintenance decides to come fix it. That means at 9 a.m. wake up time, you won’t have a sink to use, and will be scrambling to get to your next class with or without your teeth brushed. Just don’t do it. And on another note, throw away your trash in your room, not in the bathroom trash can. It’s annoying.

  5. DO bring your own toilet paper. The toilet paper most schools provide is, well, a grade above sandpaper. If you rather not feel raw 24/7, bringing your own 2-ply toilet paper is good idea. Plus, you’ll always have some when the bathrooms run out during fest weekends (and trust me, they do).

  6. DON’T sit on your phone for hours on the toilet. There are only a limited number of stalls, and when someone has to go, they have to go. This isn’t your home bathroom where you can scroll mindlessly through Instagram or Snapchat. Get in, and get out. Most likely, people are waiting. Cute pugs can wait.

  7. DO make sure you flush the toilet when you’re finished. Sometimes the toilets in dorms don’t all exactly flush like they’re supposed to. So please, make sure before you leave that the toilet is flushed all the way. On another note, if you’re having a particular pungent time in the bathroom, do a courtesy flush. Your neighbors will thank you.giphy-1
  8. DON’T pee in the showers. You may do it at home, and hey, it’s even a good cure for athlete’s foot. But when you’re sharing 3 showers with 20 people and the drains don’t always work, peeing in the shower is a no-no. I’ve experienced the smell myself, and it’s not pleasant. So please, keep the pee in the toilets.

  9. DO cover yourself up. Most hallways are co-ed, so please put on a towel or robe on your way to the shower or bathroom. It may be easier for you to just do the naked dash to the bathroom, but just don’t do it. Save yourself the embarrassment of the nerdy boy screaming at your bare legs and just cover up. Plus, the cold walk back to your room won’t be so cold with a towel on. giphy-1
  10. DON’T make a mess in the morning. Your 8 a.m. might be horrible and you may not be awake at 7:30 when you go to brush your teeth, but please don’t make a mess. Toothpaste all over the sinks and mirrors is not a way to make friends with your neighbors. Just be courteous, and remember, if you’re clean, your neighbors will most likely follow suit.

Follow these tips and you’re on your way to being the perfect neighbor (and not hated by everyone on your floor for being dirty).

 

How RAs celebrate HallOUween

Students were only allowed to use one door this weekend. People were paid to watch the doors to make sure no one snuck in
Students were only allowed to use one door this weekend. People were paid to watch the doors to make sure no one snuck in

Ah Halloween in Athens, you lived up to completely up to my expectations, and boy were they high. I did not think this year’s HallOUween celebration could be anymore boring or slow than last years, but I was wrong.

How can the supposed third largest block party in the nation be so boring one may ask? Well, I was one of many RAs on campus that had to work Friday and Saturday of Halloween weekend. Each year, Housing and Residence Life bumps up all the security for on campus life. Locks are changed so students only have access to one door, wristbands are distributed and required to get back into the halls and every staff member is on duty. These precautions come as a result of the massive influx of people Athens receives for the weekend. People come from all over to experience the bricks of  Court St on Halloween, and for most it is a blast, for RAs, it is a constant battle to stay awake.

RA Halley Davidson shows off her Halloween spirit while on rounds
RA Halley Davidson shows off her Halloween spirit while on rounds

HallOUween preparations begin weeks in advance for RAs. We received documents and went over proper procedure for the weekend three weeks in advance of the holiday. When the weekend does arrive, RAs are present as early as 6 p.m. Friday evening to begin organizing the wristbands to hand out. For my complex, Tanaka-Luchs, we had over 100 registered guests to check in. This process is probably the hardest part of the weekend. Imagine trying to heard a bunch of confused cattle into a room that is clearly not big enough, and then get them to follow a straight line. That’s what it felt like to organize the students and get them the proper wristbands. The line remained outside the door for about an hour and half. Then the real fun began, if one was not on rounds, one was to sit and check wristbands. The thing was that from around nine to around midnight, no one really came back as most were out enjoying the weekend. We had 16 staff members on duty, four of which were checking wristbands, the rest on rounds or on breaks.

My Staff wristband for the weekend. Residents had to wear similar ones, but blue.
My Staff wristband for the weekend. Residents had to wear similar ones, but blue.

Rounds consisted of constantly walking each floor of the building on Friday night, but we changed the role on Saturday, which made it easier, but also made the time go by slower. We stationed a person by the elevator on each floor and they were in charge of making sure no one was doing anything against policy or sneaking in. I was on rounds for three straight hours on Saturday. As the night went on, and I ran out of episodes of “Rick and Morty” to watch, I faced my biggest challenge of the night, staying awake. I actually lost that challenge for about 15 minutes early on, but after hearing reports of a light bulb thief on the loose, I got the kick start I need.

This was my floor at about 12:30 a.m. It was so quiet I could have heard a pin drop
This was my floor at about 12:30 a.m. It was so quiet I could have heard a pin drop

Needless to say HallOUween left much to be desired on my end, but it seems that the precautions taken by Housing and Residence life are a little much. Maybe I was just lucky that our building remained pretty calm throughout the night, but the extra measures taken seem to only add to the lore surrounding the block party. I couldn’t help but wonder that if we didn’t try so hard to keep people out, would it make the festivities less appealing? Adding a $50 charge for students to have a guest sure sounded like it was going to decrease the number of people visiting, but as mentioned before, Tanaka-Luchs saw over 100 guests come to visit.

 

It seems HallOUween will always be a big deal. My father told me about how crazy it was during his time here in the 70s, and despite increased security measures and rules, the party will continue to be one of the best events of the year, except if you’re an RA.

Ghosts of Athens Past

When I was a kid, I had an inexplicable fascination with all things morbid and macabre. I thought Wednesday Addams was the coolest and I read “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” over and over. I once convinced my elementary school class that I had a family of ghosts living in my house, even going so far as to plant evidence around my house when I had classmates over to prove I was telling the truth. It may then be seen as fitting that I ended up attending college here in Athens, because although you may not realize it, Ohio University has repeatedly been named the most haunted college campus in America. In fact, Athens was featured in an episode of the popular television show “Supernatural” for this very reason. As we head into October, I’d like to take a look at a few of the most famous supernatural legends here at OU. So light a pumpkin-scented candle, grab a mug of hot apple cider, and read away (and maybe sleep with a light on tonight).

The Weeping Angel of the West State Cemetery

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The Statue Itself – all photos by Brooke Robinson

The story behind this Athens landmark is one that has probably been told about every angel statue in every graveyard in the world, but it’s eerie nonetheless. This statue was built as a memorial to the unknown dead buried in the cemetery. The angel is said to cry and move from time to time.

Wilson Hall

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Wilson Hall on West Green

Nicholas Lantz, a journalism student at OU and author of the book “Ghosts and Legends of Athens, Ohio,” said that there is a vast difference between the legend of Wilson Hall and the facts behind it.

“If you do your research,” Lantz said, “you’ll find that the reality is a series of unrelated events and oral storytelling that happened over a couple decades and blended together to become this whole different story.”

The story goes that decades ago, a female student took to practicing Satanism in  her room (room 428). After not being heard from for a few days, resident assistants checked her room and found that she had killed herself, but not before writing Satanic scripture on the walls in her own blood.

According to Lantz, the true story is this: in the 1970s, a female student with an interest in the paranormal requested room 428. One day, RAs noticed that she had an altar in her room and assumed it was Satanic. When confronted, the girl acknowledged the altar but said it was a meditation altar, nothing more. During this confrontation, she did say that two girls down the hall were known Satanists who liked to try and summon spirits for fun in her dorm room, which may have been contributing to paranormal activity in the building.

“As for the ‘blood’ on the walls,” Lantz said, “that girl had drawn a dragon on her wall in red crayon. That’s literally all it was.”

Lantz maintains that Wilson Hall is a very haunted building, perhaps due in part to the building having been built on a cemetery owned by the Ridges.

“The bodies were all moved before construction began,” he continued, “at least, all the bodies they could find. But my friends have had personal experiences in that building. It is the most haunted dorm on campus but not for the reason people think it is.”

Simms Cemetery

I was unable to get a photo of this location because it’s actually a small family cemetery on private property, and on top of that, it’s notoriously difficult to find. The website Forgotten Ohio says this cemetery is “said to actually move, making it difficult to locate for the Ohio University students who regularly search for it.”

Lantz doesn’t advise scouting out this haunted locale, but he does say that the stories that are commonly told about it are generally based on fact.

“There was in the 1800s a local hangman who would hang people for the smallest crimes,” Lantz said. “I don’t know if he was a government employee or not, but his name was John Simms and he did exist. There’s a tree in the cemetery that they would hang the victims from. I’ve known people who’ve found the cemetery, and they’ve said there are actually fragments of rope from nooses still on the tree.”

Reported ghost sightings here include the alleged screams of unjustly executed victims coming from the area, the shadowy figure of a man in a black hood (assumed to be John Simms himself), and in one case, the spectral image of a body hanging from a tree.

The Ridges

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The Unmistakable Facade of The Ridges

Of course, there can’t be a story about haunted locations in Athens without mentioning this famous former lunatic asylum. The tale told most often concerning the asylum is the account of the infamous “body stain.”

Forgotten Ohio recounts the tale of a patient disappearing from a ward in the late 1970s. Over a month later, her corpse was found in a room on an abandoned upper floor. Before her death of heart failure, she had taken off her clothes and folded them. The eeriest and most memorable part of the tale is that her body left a stain on the ground where it had lain for weeks – a stain that remains to this day.

“The body stain does exist,” Lantz confirmed. “I’ve seen it myself several times.”

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Do you see any faces in the windows?

Continuing to draw from his own personal experience, Lantz recounted a paranormal investigation in which he participated two years ago.

He said, “I was exploring in the basement area, which was originally used to house the really dangerous patients, when I heard a weird noise and walked into this room that honestly resembled a dungeon. Then I saw that written on all the walls in chalk was a mental patient’s diary – literally from ceiling to floor – talking about how he’s not crazy, how he sees these creatures with yellow eyes and fangs following him in his dreams.”

Lantz went on to say that parts of the diary were hard to decipher, but one particularly chilling phrase written on the wall reads, “The demon, the demon it follows.”

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No names, only numbers.

After discovering this room, he and the rest of his group did an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) session, in which electronic recordings are made and played back to detect spiritual voices.

“One question I asked was, ‘Are you afraid?'” Lantz recalled. “You could hear a faint, ‘No,’ on the recording. Then we asked if there was any reason for us to be afraid, and this deep voice very clearly said, ‘Yes.'”

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One of The Ridges Cemeteries

Another incident took place just minutes after Lantz and his group had entered the building.

“We were setting up equipment when we heard a female voice scream. There were only two women in the building and they were right next to us, and just when we heard that scream the bathroom lights turned on. I don’t know how else you would explain that,” he said.

Are the Ridges as overrun with paranormal activity as all the tales claim?

As Lantz put it, “I thought the stories were way overhyped, but to be honest I was pleasantly surprised with my experience. But I don’t think it’s as haunted as some people build it up to be.”

Ohio University presidents: Their legacy and namesakes

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Seemingly, every building on campus is named after some man you’ve never heard of.  It turns out a good chunk of these men are former Ohio University presidents.   In the college’s 210 years, 20 men have been able to call themselves president of Ohio University and each contributed to the school that we enjoy today.  The following is a little bit of information about OU’s former presidents and the buildings that are their namesakes.

 

Jacob LindleyJacob Lindley (1809-1822)
Tenure: 1809-1822

Lindley was the first president of Ohio University and was the sole professor until 1814. The university at this time went by American Western University. Lindley Hall was built in 1917 for female residency and is currently closed for renovation.

 

 

 

Robert G WilsonRobert G. Wilson (1768-1851)
Tenure: 1824-1839

Wilson’s presidency saw the first African-American graduate for the university which was only the sixth instance of that happening in the country. He also had to deal with the schools first riot in 1835, which was over a pledge that required students to report on their disorderly peers. Wilson Hall was completed in 1837 and now houses the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

William Holmes McGuffeyWilliam Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873)
Tenure: 1839-1843

McGuffey is probably Ohio University’s most famous and internationally known school president. His primary school textbooks known as the “McGuffey Readers” were used throughout the United States and a minimum of 120 million copies were sold. He resigned after continued disagreements between him and the university’s community caused a considerable drop in staff and attendance. McGuffey Hall, a small building created in 1839 has had many purposes throughout the years including the housing of residents, student organizations and administrative offices.

 

 

Alfred RyorsAlfred Ryors (1812-1858)
Tenure: 1848-1852

During Ryors’ time at Ohio University, a student tried to set Cutler Hall on fire and he wasn’t expelled until the following year. Also, the university’s first scholarships were given out in order to recover from a temporary closure of the school that ended in 1845. Ryors Hall was finished in 1966 and is a residence hall on West Green.

 

 

Alston EllisAlston Ellis (1847-1920)
Tenure: 1901-1920

In addition to several academic advancements like the school’s first female African American student graduate, Ellis had squirrels introduced to the campus in 1908 – their posterity still thrives today. The Ellis Hall building was built in it’s entirety in 1908 and is one the university’s oldest and largest classroom buildings.

 

 

Elmer Burritt BryanElmer Burritt Bryan (1865-1934)
Tenure: 1921-1934

Bryan was tasked with increasing male attendance because women dominated the university’s biggest program – teacher preparation. A men’s gymnasium, a stadium, and Memorial Auditorium were built and Ohio University joined its first athletic conference. Bryan Hall, a residence hall on College Green was completed in 1948 and is a quiet study facility with a GPA requirement.

 

 

Herman Gerlach JamesHerman Gerlach James (1887-1959)
Tenure: 1935-1943

During James’ presidency, the graduate school was instituted, the ROTC program was established, and the newspaper’s name was changed to the Post. He also saw the mass exodus of men during WWII, a war in which he desired to participate in directly. This paired with illness caused him to resign. James Hall is a residence hall on West Green and was built in 1963.

 

 

Walter Sylvester GamertsfelderWalter Sylvester Gamertsfelder (1885-1967)
Tenure: 1943-1945

As interim president, Gamertsfelder led the University through the end of WWII and an average enrollment of just 200 men. After the war, a memorial service honored 221 alumni who had died overseas. Finished in 1956, Gamertsfelder Hall is the largest residence hall on East Green.

 

 

 

John Calhoun BakerJohn Calhoun Baker (1859-1999)
Tenure: 1945-1961)

Baker put extensive effort in strengthening and broadening international programs including the Nigerian educational program. He retired at age 65 due to a provision the he, himself initiated. More than one Baker Center has existed but the new one has meeting and dining rooms, theaters, as well as offices for several university organizations. It was built in 2006 and opened in the following winter.

 

 

 

Vernon Roger AldenVernon R. Alden (1923-)
Tenure: 1962-1969)

Under Alden’s presidency, student enrollment and the number of faculty doubled. There was also an increased commitment to research and volunteerism and expansion of international programs. Alden Library is among the 100 largest libraries in the U.S. and opened in 1969.

 

 

Claude R. Sowle,Claude R. Sowle (1928-1997)
Tenure: 1969-1974

Sowle’s administration was during the height and aftermath of the Vietnam War. Riots caused the closure of the university for extended periods of time. Enrollment and income declines did not stop the construction and renovation of several buildings and long-term leases for commercial development were authorized. Sowle Hall, called Southwest during its development, is a residence hall and was completed in 2015 along with three other halls near it.

 

 

Charles J. PingCharles J. Ping (1930-)
Tenure: 1975-1994

Ping entered as president during a time at the school where enrollment was down and a financial crisis loomed. Under his tenure, enrollment hit an all-time peak of 25,000 and the financial problems dissipated. The main campus more than doubled in size and the “Ridges” mental hospital was transferred to the university. The Ping Student Center is a recreational center and opened in 1996.

 

 

 

Robert GliddenRobert Glidden (1936-)
Tenure: 1994-2004

Glidden continued the work of his predecessor, Charles Ping.  An increase in scholarship funding and overall budget contributed to every corner of the school. Major renovations to Gordy Hall, Grover Center, and Memorial Auditorium were completed and he set the framework for the new Baker Student Center. The Music Building was renamed to the Robert Glidden Hall when he retired in 2004.