Take it Outside (My Dorm)

Maggie Fried

One of the first things I heard about my dorm is that it is the party dorm. That reputation is fine by me; I like having lots of people around. Unfortunately, the elements that come with the people and the parties are the profanity written on the walls and the broken ceiling tiles for which I will have to help pay come May.

Before fall break, someone mistook one of the hall walls for a dry-erase board and wrote a profane message to everyone about using protection during sex. The next morning, the message was covered up with a poster. By the beginning of the week, it had completely disappeared and the wall had a coat of new paint.

But the destruction did not stop after fall break; this weekend, some people thought it would be fun to attack the ceiling tiles. This left the floor completely covered in debris and the ceiling looking like a disaster zone. Throughout the night, things got worse, with people urinating out of windows and in sinks. The destruction came to end with a visit from campus safety.

While some of these people live in my dorm, others do not. I know that this kind of damage doesn’t just occur in my dorm, even if it is the party dorm. The fact that you can go home to your nice, clean dorm while others have to deal with the mess you’ve caused? Yes, we have custodians but their job is not to clean what has been thrown outside the dorm or wash profane language off the walls.

Although we live in the dorms, we do not own them. We pay $40,000 a year to go here, but the money to pay for trahed buildings is not included in tuition. Even if your daddy will pay for the damage you incur, that still doesn’t make vandalism just. College is supposed to prepare us for the real world, and beyond Colgate, trashing the hallways in your apartment just won’t fly. Even if there is no punishment for vandalism here, in the real world, these acts are a crime. At Colgate, however, it’s probably not that difficult to get away with vandalism. No visit from campus safety the morning after you wrecked someone’s dorm means no consequences, right? Wrong, because the next morning, while you have a clean conscience, others are waking up to trashed hallways and the thought of having to pay for someone else’s damage. Forty grand for a year of college is enough as it is – I don’t need to pay more money.

I know the obvious excuse someone would give for peeing in the halls and drawing on the walls. Yes, it is really easy to act crazy while under the influence, but intoxication is not an excuse for any crime. Whether it be a bar fight, vandalism or even rape and murder, being drunk will not be an excuse for the punishment that comes with these actions.

So if you find you feel somewhat artistic after a few Keystones, repeat this to yourself over and over again before you crack open your next beer: “I will not trash my dorm or anyone else’s dorm.” Hide the Sharpies, the golf clubs, draw a map to the bathroom on your hand, have your roommate restrain you, whatever will keep you from jumping, writing and peeing on things in the dorm. If none of this works, do us all a favor and vandalize your own hallway so that your neighbors know who to take their anger out on and you can pay for the damage at the end of year.