Columns / Discourse / April 12, 2017

Appreciating on-campus housing

“Oh … oh, god.” My mom gasped when she walked into Sherwin-Neifert’s co-ed bathroom on move-in day last year. Her eyes scanned over the sinks and landed on the urinal directly next to them — “Oh wow.” That was just about my reaction, too, for the remainder of my freshman year.

Co-ed living was new to me coming into Knox. I grew up going to an all-girls residential camp, so I had the “living away from home” part down but was lacking on the testosterone portion of the deal. It turned out that living with a suite full of men wasn’t too terribly bad. When my roommate and I were told that we would be living in a house, yet again, filled with men, we weren’t too worried. We would be in a house with privacy, a porch and we would be approximately 30 seconds from the Quickie. It was the dream.

The beauty of living in an on-campus house is you get the space and privacy of a house with the perk of not having to be an actual responsible adult. Our house is cleaned once a week, we still have an RA to go to with questions and the doors are classically thick-as-prison-doors for maximum (to my mother’s relief) security.

The beauty of living specifically in Quickie House is the constant knowledge that three for $1 Laffy Taffy’s are just a few steps away. There is nothing more dangerously magnificent than lying in bed at 1 a.m. watching reruns of Broad City with a stale Quickie Laffy Taffy in each hand. Then, there’s the porch. The crown jewel of living in a house is having a goddamn porch to sit on and feel slightly like a homeowner. Put a couch out there, sit and watch storms roll in and feel like you’re one with nature. I’m telling you, there’s nothing better. Pair the porch with some Laffy Taffys and you’re on a ride that only goes up, my friend.

There are some downsides (aren’t there always?). Besides the continuous overwhelming smell of molding bread, it seems that maintenance does not have good old Quickie House in the system, as no official work order forms have our address on them. It takes a personal email to maintenance in order to get anything through — and boy, oh boy, are there things that have needed maintenance. One particular ceiling panel is molding, causing it to sag forebodingly over our heads in the living room. The three girls who live in the downstairs portion of the house went about a week and a half without light in our bathroom and before that, about two weeks without hot water in the shower. Throw in the rain water that was leaking through our front door in enormous streams and the experience was almost like camping.

Hey, listen. On-campus housing isn’t always the best, as we’re all aware, but especially in the wake of the new off-campus housing policy let’s all take a step back and bask in the fluorescent glow of living on campus. Isn’t decorating a slightly deteriorating cinderblock-sized dorm room part of the charm of college? We’ve got it pretty good. We don’t have to check in with any RA after a certain time like at big universities, all campus housing is pretty damn central to everything else and I’ve got a porch! Sign me up for another year of bony couches and cold water because in a few years, I’ll have to be buying my own toilet paper.

Lillie Chamberlin
Lillie is a senior at Knox, majoring in creative writing and minoring in gender and women's studies. At The Knox Student, she has worked as the discourse editor, co-editor-in-chief, and is now a co-mosaic editor. She is also a co-nonfiction editor at Catch. Her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Tags:  campus life column cons discourse humor on-campus housing opinion Pros Quickie house

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