The ups and downs of dorm life

Posted April 11, 2008
Sher Porter
Monique Chambers, a senior Stu-Han resident, and C.J. Storey eat lunch while enjoying the newly installed flat screen television in the Stu-Han Lounge. Studebaker-Hanawalt Hall, better known simply as Stu-Han, is currently the only all female dorm on campus. It was built in two stages – Studebaker Hall was built first in 1956,, followed by Hanawalt Hall in 1958.

Danielle Lampkin
Assistant Editor

The University of La Verne Housing and Residential Life Department sends out a letter before each school year to students who will be living on campus, with the name of their soon-to-be roommate.

But unfortunately this letter does not come with a manual for how to make the roommate experience successful.

Roommates share a bedroom that also functions as a living room, family room, office and at times kitchen.

And let’s not forget that you have to share a communal restroom with more than 20 people.

This living arrangement for most constitutes a significant change in lifestyle, with its accompanying necessary adjustments.
The Housing Department allows dorm residents the chance to discuss agreed upon rules that are documented and signed by the roommates in case of future disagreements.

“I chose to be roommates with my friend Dayna before I came to college, since we were friends in high school,” freshman liberal studies major Danielle Nobles said.

The choice of picking your own roommate is offered to students, although it could end up not being a very pleasant experience for some.

In my sophomore year I chose my roommate and a semester into the school year, I was knocking on a stranger’s door asking for her signature so I could move out of my room.

I went from living with my friend to the current room with a stranger that lived alone.

The idea of living with a close friend at times might not always be a good idea but it can be a valuable experience to learn to live with someone new. You could make life-long friends in the process.

“If I had not lived in the dorms I would have never met Gabby and Dayna. They lived in the same dormitory and introduced me to sorority life,” senior criminology major Stephanie Farrell said.

“They allowed me to see past all of the stereotypes of a sorority and made me become more interested in what it is all about,” Farrell said.

The stories that students share with one another, not only about school but about one another’s understanding of things allows students a chance to experience diversity first hand.

Though some who choose to live off campus say they do it in part to cut costs.

“The dorms are way too expensive for what you are offered,” freshman Dayna Enriquez said. “You are given a room to share with another person. I mean we should at least get more for the price we pay here.”

Despite the cost of living, the friendship and experiences in the dorm, or with a roommate, are priceless.

People are given the chance to share not only a living space but also personal experiences and challenges, while still working to maintain balance in the world we live in today.

It is always nice to come back from class and have a study buddy waiting for you. Studying for tests is never a fun task but when everyone you live with has to do it too, it is not that bad.

The community you share with fellow students who are working toward the same common goal of earning a degree is also a plus.

“I would never change my decision of living in the dorm,” Nobles said. “I have come across great friends and now when I decide to move out next year I have places to stay in between classes too.”

The campus involvement and variety of activities offered to those living on campus keeps dorm life exciting.

Roommates are another story to go along with our life and more times than not the stories can leave a smile on the faces of the many who had the chance to experience this opportunity.

We only have one chance to have a dorm experience, and ULV offers a unique opportunity to learn how to live in such an environment.

There are always chances to learn how to problem solve when you have conflicts with your roommate or neighbors.

However, although sometimes you wish you could escape to your room for some peace and quiet, remember that this is probably the one time in your life that you can embrace those late night Circle-K runs, walking home from T. Phillips or midnight chats.

Danielle Lampkin can be reached at dlampkin@ulv.edu.

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