Some like it bare, some like it colorful, and others like to take it to the extreme. From islands to bright lights, students decorate their dorms to create their own personal haven.
In Babcock, freshman Mike Callahan hasn’t even started to decorate his room – although it’s four weeks into the semester. His room has scattered video games on the floor, a single cowboy sign on his roommates’ side to fill up the white walls, and a Raiders towel hanging on the wardrobe.
“I’m still getting all the pieces in there,” Callahan said, explaining that he will bring back a ton of band posters when he goes home to cover up the “prison-like” walls.
Many students come unprepared for decorating, but roommates Chelsea Mason and Melissa Suchan made a trip to the Party Store in Rutland in order to spice up their room and make it “a party room.”
Since their room was used as a dance hotspot, they decided on a Hawaiian theme, buying tiki wall hang-ups and leis to stretch across the room.
“We just picked up things as we went,” Suchan said.
“Laughing the entire time,” Mason added.
Like these girls found out, a few decorations can make a space that much more inviting and help bring roommates and suitemates together.
The girls in Wheeler Hall decided that they weren’t spending enough time with each other and decided to hang out and decorate their common room, according to suitemate Amy Henriksson. The result was a checkerboard of scrapbook paper covering one wall, large origami structures hanging from the ceiling, and the ever-popular college room accessory: Christmas lights.
Students confess their rooms were similar to those in their houses, though Melissa Suchan admitted her dorm room had “more guys on the wall.”
Henriksson said that the reason her room was similar to her house was so she wouldn’t get as homesick as easily. For that reason, she brought her Jonny Depp poster along to school.
Posters and pictures slathered on the wall are not only reminders of family and friends back home, but lend the room a touch of the decorator’s personality.
“It’s kind of vibrant,” Megan McCann said of her room’s poster and picture detailing, “and I have a vibrant personality.”
A suite in Wheeler dedicated a whole wall to photographs and the opposite wall to finger paintings done as a suite.
“It’s something to brighten up your day for early classes,” Katie Hurley said.
“It’s homey, fun,” Holly Southwick chimed in.
This hominess is something that Laurie Lewis, Physical Plant employee, said is missing in Castleton Hall where many of the suites seem like they aren’t being used.
“[The furniture] is not arranged in any special way, usually there’s a television,” she said of the rooms. “It seems like everyone is sticking to their rooms.”
Though she hasn’t seen any “outrageous” decorations this year, she was amused by the mock beach set up in the top floor of Castleton.
Morgan Sasso decided to make his suite look like his town of Isle La Monte by setting a palm tree, a kiddy pool, and sand in the corner on plastic, enabling easy clean up.
“Life’s a beach,” Sasso said about the setup, adding, “I wanted to be different.”
The beach, along with the high tech music system, has helped this suite become a hang out place for friends.
“All are welcome,” he said. “Play guitar on the beach, have a Corona in the sand.”
Most residents don’t have beaches set up to comfort their guests, but find other ways to set an easy going atmosphere.
Sage Small and her roommate started a ‘dumb ass’ points system where every time one of them said or did anything deemed idiotic, they received a point. Although they stopped keeping track, the points tallied on Post-Its are still hanging on the wall as a testament of their laidback personalities.
While most apologized for their room being messy or disorganized claiming their homework got in the way of keeping it more in order, some rooms remain disheveled throughout the year.
Jessica Dewes has been notorious for her room looking like a tornado blew through it, to the point where she received a fine for “extreme messiness.”
With clothes tossed in heaps, glasses and bottles scattered around the room, and barely any room to walk around, her and her roommate Sarah Gayle trip over things constantly. Neither one has a problem with it because they claim to have no time or effort to keep their room organized with their busy schedules (Dewes with rugby and Gayle with music practice on top of their schoolwork).
Gayle describes their room as “very lived in,” but said even they still have limits.
“It’s not like we have rotting orange juice lying around,” Dewes said.
Overall, Lewis said dorm rooms have been kept pretty clean so far this semester, even after evident parties.
“Last year a couple of rooms got pretty bad,” she said. “This year the majority is pretty clean, though they may become more lax the more they get int