This is a column I wrote for the University Daily Kansan concerning the student housing at KU.
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Student housing includes good, bad, a lot of ugly
February 16, 2001
When I enrolled at the University of Kansas last spring, I had to decide where to live. The housing application didn´t give me much information about which residence hall would be best for me. Now that I live here, I have a better understanding of student housing. So for those who are planning to return to student housing or for incoming students, here are some of your living options:
McCollum Hall — McCollum is the big hall at the south end of Engel Road. If you´ve never been in McCollum, congratulations. You haven´t exposed yourself to the ugly side of the University. A Free for All caller said it best: “Did we buy McCollum Hall at a garage sale?”
How does the University do a sales pitch for McCollum, anyway? “McCollum Hall is conveniently located at the farthest corner of campus, just an hour and a half by helicopter from the Kansas Union and only four blocks from the cafeteria, where the food is absolutely horrible. Why is the food horrible? Because we don´t have to try. You have to eat there anyway. What are you gonna do, starve? Just kidding.”
Oliver Hall — If a hall with community showers could be considered decent, this is the one. It has its own cafeteria; it´s located closer to classes and athletic venues; and if you´re a male on the 10th floor, you can get a good look at the girls tanning at the Naismith Hall pool.
I took a tour of Oliver last spring. The girl giving the tour took me to the model room shown on all tours, and it actually turned me off. Housing officials need to make that room appealing, or potential res hall rats will say “no.”
Gertrude Sellards Pearson-Corbin Halls — All-female halls. I´ve never been in there, but I've heard great things, mostly from the male population. “Hey Beavis, a building full of chicks!”
Hashinger Hall — A residence hall for fine arts students. Because I can´t draw, sing, memorize lines or even write, I doubt they would even let me take a tour of this hall.
Lewis Hall — Laid out as suites. Recent remodeling has paid off, as the hall is posh and comfortable. But it requires residents to volunteer their time for community service. Doesn´t that defeat the purpose of “volunteering”?
Ellsworth Hall — Ellsworth is easily the most boring hall in Kansas. To Ellsworth residents, I have to ask: What made you say, “Wow, this is where I have to live!”? I´d rather live in my car.
Naismith Hall — This is the private hall I live in. The food is good; we have cool arcade games; there´s a bathroom for every two rooms; hall staff is more lenient on alcohol; and we have a swimming pool that´s great for the first and last month of the school year. Naismith, however, sucks out your life savings. We pay cable bills; we pay extra for a phone; and only the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans can afford our parking passes. With all the money I´ve poured into Naismith, I could buy a wing of McCollum. Not that I´d want to.
So where should you call home? If you have a money tree in your backyard, try Naismith or Lewis. For the rest of you, stick with Oliver. And don´t forget your flip-flops.