I have lived on campus for the last three almost four years here at Whittier, aside from my sophomore year due to remote learning. Each Dorm hall is different. I am most familiar with the lower campus dorms.
As of now, dorm halls still have mask mandates for numerous reasons. Each time you leave your room, you’re expected to mask up. Even if you’re just going to the bathroom, or down the hall. When you go to take a shower, you are expected to wear it into the bathroom, take it off before getting into the shower, and after you dry off on your way back to your dorm.
Communal bathrooms are weird at first, but you get used to it. Last year, each bathroom had a bottle of cleaner, so we could disinfect surfaces as we saw fit. The shower doors are usually frosted with no curtain, a trick I use is pinching the towel between the door and the door frame or over the door. I wear a robe to the shower and I just sling it over the side. I personally clean the soap dish every time I use it because if water has sat there for too long it will get a bit funky. Facilities come around about once a day, so residents are largely responsible for how nice the bathroom looks, and how clean the floor is.
Each dorm has a communal living space, a communal kitchen, and communal gendered bathrooms. The older dorms on campus do not have A/C, except for communal spaces. For example, Ball Hall has an A/C unit in the lobby and two in the basement living space.
Laundry Machines can be paid for with quarters or through the app pay range.
You’re bound to run into issues, and chances are, your RA has been through what you’re going through. Residential Advisors are there to help throughout your time living in the dorms. If you see something Facilities needs to pay attention to, contact your RA and they can put in a service request. Furthermore, every weeknight from about 8 pm to midnight, there is an RA in each dorm hall hanging out in the lobby. On weekend nights, RAs are available from 8 pm to 2 am. So if you forgot your key, or are having a late-night conflict, there are RAs there to assist you.
Campus Safety is available to help if there are conflicts the RA isn’t available to handle. For example, noise complaints. Especially around finals season, people need their room to be a quiet space to study, so if you’re in the hallways with your friends at 10 pm, giggling as I was my freshman year, you may get a visit from them. Campus Safety can also let you into your room if you forgot your key, or can escort you to your dorm if you feel unsafe walking by yourself. If you live on upper campus and you’re down by the library around midnight, I’d suggest getting a lift from them. I’ve personally seen some coyotes on campus at night.
Basically, life in the dorms is what you make it. Clean up after yourself, get to know your RA’s and your floor mates, and be friendly. If you feel invisible now, give it a few weeks and you won’t be. We’re close-knit, and we all know each other in some way or another.
Featured Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus