Monday, January 14, 2008

A Few Reasons Why Chandler Hall is the Worst Dorm at JMU

I got a single dorm room on campus this year. How cool is that? It's in this weird place called Chandler. Can't be that bad, right?

Did I ever make a mistake...

+ The most asocial dorm on campus.
Dorms are great because you get to meet people. That only works as a freshman. Nobody in a sophomore dorm actually wants to meet anybody; we've already all got friends, and we'd rather be living off campus with them.

+ Borderline Fascism
In a freshman dorm, there's a lot of problems. Heavy drinking, mary-jane... hell, last year there was even a cocaine bust where I lived. This dorm is as boring as hell. Those who engage in such activities--if such people exist--do a great job covering it up. Since the leadership here has nothing better to do, they prefer to squash harmless and innocent activites, things that usually are overlooked or even encouraged in a freshman dorm because there are far more harmful things to worry about.

+ Indoor Weather
I don't know who decided buildings don't need AC. This one has AC in the TV lounge, but extending that system to the rest of the rooms must have been far too expensive. When winter finally comes, and one prays for the heat to come on, unlike the over-toasty village dorms, there's no heat wave. It's just cold, and it stays that way.

+ There's two dining facilities in the basement.
Sounds great huh? TWO places in your basement where people cook for you! Mrs. Greens and Lakeside Express! Wrong! They don't just cook for residents, they cook for everybody. While Mrs. Greens is open, the lines go out the door. It's impossible to leave or get back in the building. The place is open for lunch, and other dining facilities are far more convenient around that time. Additionally, the dining facilities share a garbage room with residents, making the place--instead of an isolated, rain-washed bin outside--a wreaking, smelly hell pit that requires a biohazard suit to enter. The volume of trash also requires early morning visits by...

The sun is barely rising. You've had a restless night because there's no AC, and it's Rear Window hot still. Just as you start to blink out of reality, there's a loud crash outside. What the hell? Was that a car accident? A bomb? No, that's a garbage truck that stops by every fucking weekday morning to collect garbage from the two dining facilities in the basement. Fuck 'em.

+ Cardswipers are horrible.
This is rather petty but still a pain in the ass. To get the doors open, you have to run a JACard through the card reader four or five times. It never works on the first.

+ If you think dorms in the village are confusing...
I don't know if there was a Confusionism (different from Confusianism) movement in the 70's, or if it was just a LSD flashback that happened to the architects that designed the brick buildings on campus, but either way, this is one of the most confusing building designs ever concieved. Hallways are built at strange angles. People live in triangular rooms. There are secret passages. Everything is brown. The village was designed in a similar way; multiply a village dorm by four.

+ It's far away from everything... unless you're a business major.
There are two buildings a decent distance from Chandler--UREC (the gym) and Zane-Showker (the business building). I go to UREC three times a week, which makes it somewhat convenient, except for the fact that I go to class more than five times a week, and I'm nowhere near my classes. If anything, you can make my needs on campus into a triangle: at one point is Burruss/Miller Hall, another at the Physics building, and the final point at Chandler. Chandler is located inconveniently as far away as possible from everywhere else I need to be on campus; the only place worse is Rockingham Hall, so the University gives the students living there commuter parking passes to compensate. Here's a map, if you don't believe me:

View Larger Map
The volcano is where I have math. The woman is where I have everything else. The food-related icons are where I get food. None of them are near where I live. Good job civil engineers, good job.


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