Caroline Hall: the New Dorch?

Living in a dorm is rough. The close proximity to your entire floor, the communal bathroom, and the constant parade of partygoers all throughout the week lead to the ever growing depiction of dorms in an unfavorable manner. The dorms here at St. Mary’s are hardly terrible considering the stories of dorm life I have heard from friends attending larger universities; however, it seems that lately dorm life has become harder and harder to deal with.

As a sophomore resident of Caroline, I can honestly say that I cannot wait for next year when I will be out of the dorms and into a suite. While I am very clear on the fact that no matter where I live on campus there are always going to be problems, I have found that living in a dorm this year has been a much more trying experience than I had last year.

Caroline has been experiencing what I understand to be a ton of vandalism this year. Personally, I have not seen any, although, I was told during a mandatory dorm meeting that the vandalism has reached Dorchestor levels. This may have something to do with the fact that Caroline is the first dorm you reach after coming back from North Campus.

Makes sense that after a little to much partying, some folks would think that destroying stuff would be awesome…p.s. it’s not. Destroying property in the name of being obnoxious is not cool. In fact, it is really annoying to those of us who reside in Caroline, and if you live in Caroline and are destroying stuff, you are possibly going to be the cause of the rest of us having to monetarily pay for your bone headedness.

It is completely understandable and justifiable that the school would threaten to have residents pay for excessive vandalism as a way to try and nip the rowdy behavior before it goes even more out of control; however, I find it completely unfair that the rest of us may have to pay for restoration of a dorm that is in all honesty kind of shoddy.

For the entire year Caroline residents have experienced one problem after another, from vandalism to washer leakage. It seems that the second that one problem is resolved another one springs up, and usually the first problem comes back around after we have received an email that it has been “fixed”.

One of the main problems all year has been the hot water. Personally, I am not a fan of the ice cold shower. It’s a good wake up call, but I think I’d rather just drink coffee. Unless you take a shower at the crack of dawn or after midnight, odds are that you are not going to get hot water.

Frankly, this seems a little ridiculous to me. I understand that there are so many more important problems on campus that need to be addressed as opposed to the fact that I can’t take a hot shower, but the fact that this has been a problem the entire year says to me that the school is happy to take my money but when it comes to actually mantaining the dormitory, they could care less.

Speaking about bathrooms, Caroline’s second right has been missing the shower ceiling tiles since the second week of school. This has lead to a whole new level of creepy when taking a shower. Now we freeze and look warily at the vents hanging openly above our heads.

Also while I am on my bathroom rant, having hand soap available would also be great. (We once ran out for the entire week. My roommate nearly revolted.)

Though it may sound like it, I in no way blame housekeeping or maintenance for these problems. In fact, we should all praise them for attempting to keep up with the constant mess that awaits them and thank them for all of their hard work. What the problem seems to be is a lack of communication and seemingly a lack of regard on both the part of the Residents and Residence Life. We all need to come together and address the ever growing issues that have begun to plague dorm life.

The thing that prompted me to write this was not the issues- though they played a large factor- but the fact that the residents of Caroline were threatened with extra fees if the vandalism persists. When I have hot water and a window that does not let in gale force drafts, I will see the need to charge residents for disrespect of the dorm. As of now, I am kind of angered that the school has the audacity to charge residents more when so many things are falling apart.

Didn’t Caroline just get an outside overhaul? Perhaps, instead of spending that kind of money – and I have no idea how much it was- to make the front and the back of Caroline pretty, the money should have been spent to fix up the inside and provide new windows for ALL of the residents.

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