Page 4-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 6, 1990
Ready or not, dorms are a student's...
Home away from home for eight long:
Residence hail living poses new
challenges for incoming students
by Alycia Spector
Daily Staff Writer
Residing in a dorm is a once-in-a-
lifetime experience. Where else do
you have the opportunity to live
with 1000 other people, share a
bathroom with 60 of them, and eat
scrumptious meals like tuna quiche
and (cooked-for-a-) minute steak?
Honestly, the residence hall experi-
ence can be a lot of fun if you come
to Michigan prepared and know what
Most dorm rooms are relatively
small - in Mary Markley the space
measures about 10' x 12', although
rooms in other dorms are slightly
larger. This dorm room comes
equipped with a bed, dresser, desk,
closet, lights, mirrors, and, hey -
another person! At least one other
person, that is. Singles are a rare
dommodity in University residence
halls and triples are a common sight.
Learning to get along on a day-
to-day basis with another person is
one of the most important lessons
you can learn in your first year at
college. To best deal with a room-
mate, you should learn to compro-
mise, talk things over and overlook
annoying little habits like noisy eat-
ing or snoring.
Having a roommate means get-
ting used to give and take - instead
of locking the radio dial at your fa-
vorite classic rock station, you must
learn to listen to his or her Top 40
tunes without gagging. Roommates
need to establish policies about such
weighty matters as overnight vistors
- romantic guests often prove the
most controversial. In this case, re-
member that most people have
enough trouble dealing with a double
room and will not appreciate a third
Speaking of triples, these nifty
little arrangements can present other
problems, like not having enough
space for your clothes, books or
yourself in the room. Milk crates are
a necessity for any type of dorm
room. They serve as extra storage,
bedside tables, or TV stands.
To conserve space, many people
have lofts built in their dorm rooms.
A loft is- a wooden structure elevat-
ing the mattresses almost to the ceil-
ing - a ladder is used to get up and
down. A loft creates space, but this
is probably the only positive aspect.
People who sleep in lofts learn to
resist impulses which occur in the
middle of the night, such as a trip to
the bathroom, a drink of water or a
ringing phone. A loft makes having
romantic overnight guests very diffi-
cult - my roommate and I always
joked that my dad built our loft so
close to the ceiling as a preventative
If you decide you want a loft,
there are plenty of people available
the first week of school to build one
for about $100, lumber included.
If you live close to the Univer-
sity bring your own carpet, but, for
out-of-staters, there are people
selling carpets from vans around the
residence halls during the first few
days of school. These carpets are
generally of poor quality, ugly and
expensive, but hey, what can you
Other necessary items include: a
multi-plug strip, extension cords and
earplugs to block out the music your-
Deadhead neighbors play till 3 a.m.
every night. An extra phone is a
good idea, especially if you plan on
getting a loft. Michigan weather is
subject to great change, and it can be
hot through October, so don't forget
Also, don't bother bringing your
typewriter - on the University cam-
pus, they are almost as outmoded as
the Beta-Max video recorder. Buy a
computer disc instead, because all
dorms have micro-computing cen-
ters, and there's one every five feet
on campus. Don't worry if you've
never used a computer because
there's always someone to help you.
A message board for the outside
of your door is essential - make
sure the pen is firmly attached to the
handle or to the inside of the door
because these get ripped off often.
An answering machine is a key item
if you can get a hold of one - most
students spend more time out of
their dorm rooms than in.
Heavy boots and a warm coat are
obviously necessary in Michigan,
especially for those students who
must trek daily from the Hill dorms
- Alice Lloyd, Couzens, Mosher-
Jorden, Stockwell and Mary
Markley. Many students choose be-
tween traditional duck boots and
heavy hiking boots called Timber-
lands, which are very, very ugly.
Still, Timberlands have become a
status symbol on campus - people
even clomp around in them in dry
weather or inside the dorms.
Most communal bathrooms are,
in a word, gross. If they aren't when
you arrive at the dorm, just wait till
a football weekend, or after a night
of heavy partying. Bring thongs to
protect your feet from whatever
grows in the bottom of the showers,
and use a small bucket to carry your
shower items to and from the bath-
Some of the rules in the
"Guidelines for Community Living"
that the University sends to all new
students are loosely enforced, if at
all. Quiet hours are rarely observed
except during exams. Although elec-
tric blankets, irons, hot plates, pop-
corn poppers and microwaves are
"prohibited," most students keep at
least three items from this list in
their rooms and never hear a word
You should, however, fill out the
inventory check-list given to every
room. This will protect you from
being held liable for damage to your
room for which you are not respon-
Each hall in a dorm has a resident*
advisor, or RA. This is an under-
graduate who is placed on the hall to
answer questions, help resolve prob-
lems which arise between room-
mates and other parties on the hall,
plan hall activities, and keep an eye
on things and enforce dorm and Uni-
Still, an RA who fulfills all
these duties is rare. Some RAs are
good, some are useless and never
around. What you get out of your
RA depends on how you choose to
utilize the resource they provide.
Do not study in the dorm. Con-
sider this a warning. Dorms are far
too social to get any real work done
- go to the libraries instead. Then
again, the UGLI can be pretty social.
In terms of social activities, Nin-
tendo is very popular at the Univer-$
sity, as is euchre, and proficiency in
this area can help improve your so-
A lot of people make use of the
unsupervised freedom college pro-
vides by using alcohol and other
controlled substances. It's great to
have fun, but with the many con-
cerns of your first year at college,
it's best to save this kind of activity
for the weekend.
Fortunately, the campus provides
many other ways to enjoy yourself,
See DORMS, Page 9
Martha Cook stands
unique among halls
KRISSY GOODMAN/Daily .
South Quad, revered as the party dorm, stands in all it's architechtural splendor, on the, you guessed it, south edge of campus. After eight months, most
residents are happy to call the Squad, Home Sweet Home.
Ba (room 6Dance Chub
by Karen Akerlof
N SE Contributor
The only place on campus one
can live in which the Venus de Milo
resides in the main hall - Martha
Cook - remains elite, elegant and a
bit of an anachronism.
Located on the corner of Tappan
and S. University streets, the Gothic
style of Martha Cook creates an ar-
chitectural extension of the Univer-
sity's Law School, its neighbor to
The connection isn't unfounded.
William Cook, a wealthy corpora-
tion lawyer and University alumnus,
paid for most of the construction of
the Law School eight years after he
built Martha Cook, naming it after
Martha Cook was supposed to be
a place that nurtured "the charm, the
grace, and the principles of cultured
American womanhood". While the
definition of cultured American
womanhood has changed since the
building of the dorm in 1915, many
of the Martha Cook traditions re-
main the same.
Each year the residents act as
hostesses to University and Ann Ar-
bor Symphony big-wigs at a dinner
that follows the Hill Auditorium
performance of Handel's Messiah.
The dorm gives its residents -
Join the School of Education
Fund Raising Phonathon Team
'Every Sunday starting Sep. 9
"6-7 p.m. Lessons
"7-9 p.m. General Dancing
*Activities Room of CCRB
"Cookies" - many opportunities to
practice the disappearing art of
hostessing. Three o'clock teas every
Friday provides a chance for the
Cookies to meet and mingle with
law students, business students, and
fraternity members and their mas-
cots, among others groups.
Men are allowed in the building,
but only if they are escorted, and
only during certain hours are they alb
lowed upstairs. Sit-down dinners are
served promptly at 5:30 p.m. during
the week by uniformed waitresses.
These dinners begin with,"grace,"
Oh power of love, all-knowing, ten-
der, ever near... oh guard our
friendship's circle ever, and feature
an extended array of silverware which
can be daunting to the new Cookie.
To forestall the bewilderment of
those inexperienced at dining with
more than one fork, knife and spoon,
at the beginning of the year the dorm
director distributes photo copies of'
Miss Manner's instructions on
which size and shaped utensil to use
with which course.
While the rules and traditions
might sound weary, the advantages
of the dorm: it's location (across the
street from the Diag), the food
(better than most dorm food), the
graciousness of the red and gold re-
ceiving and living rooms on the
ground floor, and the beauty of the
adjacent garden convince many
women to stay at the dorm through-
out their college careers.
Martha Cook does not accept
freshwomen, but it takes applica-
tions from women at all other stages
of their education at the University,*,
including graduate students.
Earn $6.00 per hour plus incentives
and bonus pay AND gain great work
experience! A great way to make
friends and meet new people. Six
weeks each, fall and winter terms.
pp qmp- - - m m - - -
For interviews, call 763-4880 AFTER September 11.
The University of Michigan is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer
Illommp- -14141imp- -Im
more information, call 668-2491
Welcome to Ann Arbor. Whether you are a student or new resident in the area, you can bank on your
community bankers at First of America.
" 20 BRANCHES - ONLY Bank with four campus locations
S. University at E. University
E. Liberty at Maynard
E. Ann at Washtenaw Place (Medical Center)
Plymouth Road (near North Campus)
* 24-HOUR BANKING - Most locations in town -10 campus area
machines (19 total). Member of Magic Line and Cirrus.
* FULL RANGE OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES -
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University of Michigan
Part time employees for
Itchen help and catering.