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How do you decorate your room?
By Jodi Garber
The walls are bare and
institutional, the two single beds are
bunked, the closet is too small, and
there is only one window.
Welcome to your dorm
Millions of young people
this month are packing up and
heading to institutions of higher
learning and crowded living. For
those used to the homeyness of, well,
home, many dorm rooms appear
completely unlivable at first. But
given time and creativity, dorms can
become more comfortable.
From posters to paint to
beanbags to lava lamps, small touches
make the home-to-dorm transition
Diversity is the best thing
about dorm decoration, according to
Kevin Mauch, 23, of Lamar, Colo., a
resident assistant at the University of
Colorado at Colorado Springs.
"Every room has its own
characteristic," he said. "Kids in one
room are into swing (music), down
the hall they're into Gothic and you
walk into another room and you can
see that these people obviously
worship the big marijuana leaf
because they have posters all over the
"I had one set of residents
who stapled white bedsheets to the
ceiling with Christmas lights up
underneath," Hane said. "It looked
really cool until I told them it was a
fire hazard, and they had to take it
BASIC DECORATING TIPS down."
Cheryl Ammons, an interior
designer at The Home Depot on
Woodmen Road in Colorado Springs,
Colo., knows how tedious dorm
living can be. "It is possible to make
your dorm room very much like home
if you want to," said Ammons, who
lived in the dorms at the University
of Redlands in California for four
Campus news shorts
College Press Exchange
PALO ALTO, Calif. (CPX)
- This year's Most Unlikely To Be
Roommates Award goes to Chelsea
Clinton and Carolyn Starr, both of
whom are expected to attend Stanford
University this fall.
Clinton is returning for her
sophomore year. Starr, daughter of
independent counsel Kenneth Starr,
has been accepted to the university, a
spokeswoman for Starr's office has
School officials refused to
comment about the matter, but it's
likely Carolyn Starr will enter the
university this year because she
applied - and was accepted - during
the early admissions period.
Dormitory assignments for
the women are not known, but it's
unlikely Clinton and Starr will be
sleeping under the same roof.
College Press Exchange
ALFRED, NY (CPX) - Alfred
University's president ordered the
forfeiture of the school's first football
game of the season after learning
about a recent weekend party in which
upper-classmen on the team allegedly
tied up freshman players and forced
them to drink alcohol or water until
Five players on the team were
arrested on several charges connected
, to the incident, including giving
alcohol to minors. School officials
said paramedics treated five students
who had attended the party for alcohol
poisoning. Two of the five, ages 17
'and 18, were taken to a local hospital
President Edward G. Coll, Jr., had
considered calling off the university's
Her suggestions for making
the room more comfortable: Get a
lamp that gives off natural, not
fluorescent light; paint the walls if
you have permission; and use a throw
rug to spice up the room.
Ammons isn't far off, say
resident advisers at CU-Springs.
Matt Hane, 20, of Fruita said throw
rugs are popular in dorm rooms, and
throw pillows are, too. "Think light
and cheap," he said. "Anything you
bring in, if you don't like it, you have
to be able to throw it away."
But making your dorm room
your own isn't just about pillows and
lamps; it's about personality, too.
"We had an event on
campus, and some girls posted all of
the flyers on their wall," said
Rhiannon Atencio, 21, of Colorado
She also noticed residents
making wall decorations from
magazine pages, beverage cans and
shower curtains with university
Many students shop at thrift
stores and antique stores for furniture
and decorations. "It depends on how
comfortable you are with being
thrifty," Hane said.
HOW WILL IT ALL FIT?
A little bit of ingenuity can
save a lot of space in dorms. "One of
the trends here, because the rooms are
entire football season but instead
decided that the six players thought
to be responsible for the party -
including the team's co-captains -
should be suspended from the team
for the rest of the season. One player,
on probation for another unrelated
violation, was expelled.
The university also is requiring the
remaining 89 players on the team, 47
of whom are freshmen, to attend
classes on substance abuse awareness.
"The measures we are announcing
will be called harsh by some," Coll
said in a written statement. "But I
assure you their severity pales in
comparison to the tragedy that could
have occurred this past weekend. I
wanted our football team to know that
we will not tolerate this kind of
Alfred University, a Division 111
school in New York, had been
scheduled to play Susquehanna
University during the season opener.
cheat on ACT
College Press Exchange
ITTA BENA, Miss. (CPX) -
Twenty-four students at Mississippi
Valley State University face expulsion
for cheating on the ACT, school
President Lester C. Newman
announced during a Sept. 2 press
conference that three school
employees had allowed 14 students
to take the exam for 14 other students.
Two of the employees have resigned
and the third has been suspended and
may be fired.
Of the 14 students potentially
benefiting from the scam, six were
varsity athletes. The university
terminated the enrollment of three
other athletes who would have entered
University officials said they
suspect students agreed to take the
National Campus News
Thursday, Septemberlo, 1998 The Behrend College Beacon - Page 5
so small, is that we' re allowed to loft
our beds, and people put big futons
and bean bags underneath," Atencio
Ammons had a similar
space-saving tip. "It you have both
beds pointing out from one corner,
you can build a corner unit: a wood
square with legs on it," she said.
If you build the legs long
enough, you can even push the beds
underneath the table to save more
space, creating extra storage or
display space. Another space-saving
trend Atencio has noticed is, "buying
cool little storage units."
The best pace to shop for
"I think everybody who
lives here shops at Target. It's a bad
store, because you go there to buy one
thing for your room and walk out with
10," Atencio said.
Debra Fritz, national Target
home decor consultant, said the
retailer is aiming for the college
student market, which is why its
dorm-room products are so popular.
"They literally bring in merchandise
strictly geared for somebody going
back to college," she said.
Other items most dorm
residents could not live without
include refrigerators, microwaves and
stereos. How do those appliances fit
in the rooms? Stacking.
"Always buy a smaller
microwave than refrigerator," said
Hane, who once tried - unsuccessfully
- to help a resident with a huge
microwave stack it on top of a smaller
As far as furniture goes,
Fritz said the butterfly chair and the
inflatable chair are popular; both are
easy to pack and store.
"You can't ship furniture to
school, but the inflatable chairs can
exam for the athletes because they
wanted to ensure that the athletes
would be eligible to play this season.
Newman said the fraud was
discovered two weeks ago after
university officials noticed
irregularities in test scores dating to
1997. He said he is confident the
National Collegiate Athletic
Association will not penalize the
school because the matter was
Newman said he intends to give full
reports on the matter to NCAA
officials and to a state board that
oversees higher education and will
decide each of the student's
Beer served at
College Press Exchange
LEHIGH, Pa. - Pennsylvania's
Liquor Control Board recently
flattened a Lehigh University
proposal to offer beer and wine at an
School officials had hoped to
create a "controlled environment"
where students could hang out and
drink responsibly. Alcohol would
have been served on Thursday,
Friday and Saturday nights at the
Stage Door Restaurant inside the
university's student center.
Wristbands would have been used to
identify those students old enough to
The idea, school officials said, fit
. university's larger plan to
curb abusive drinking - a plan that
includes more alcohol-free events
and a substance-free dormitory
opened to 50 freshmen this year.
But the three-member liquor board
called the idea "inappropriate" and
said it could "greatly influence the
binge-drinking culture" on campus.
They also said the idea was
inconsistent with state grants
recently given to establish
communitywide efforts to stop
dangerous drinking on campus.
fold up and fit in a suitcase, and the
butterfly chairs are also easy to
DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
Some dorm-life must-haves
that easily can be forgotten include
shower caddies and shower shoes.
"If you don't have a shower
caddy, your soap will mold into the
shower; it's really gross," Hane said.
A basic shower caddy costs around
$5 or $lO.
Shower shoes (flip-(lops)
ere's a real tough
By Thnika White
LEXINGTON, Mo. - As Lindsey
Royal dreams in the early morning
darkness, her crisp outfit hangs
tidily in the closet, picked out
specially for this, the
first day of school.
Everything matches perfectly.
Baggy pants in pea and olive green.
Matching jacket with the sleeves
rolled just so. T-shirt the color of
When she arises, shortly before
the sun, Royal, 16, will have barely
30 minutes to make her bed, clean
her room, brush her teeth, dress,
hair under her hat and carry her
It is a race she will have to
perfect. Or else.
"Let's go! Let's go!" screams
Sarah Martinez, 19, of Lawrence,
Kan., as she strides through the
Wentworth Military Academy hall
where Royal and her hall mates
sentry biget ready. "What is wrong
with you? You knew' what time ,
youtre all tripposed to ' be
downstairs! Why do I have to keep
Royal sucks in her breath, throws
her laundry bag over her right
shoulder and steps out into the cold
hallway, joining a single file line
with the other new cadets. The Rat
All 16 Rats are wearing the same
camouflage outfit, down to
billowing pant legs tucked snugly
into ungiving boots. Every left arm
swings in time with every right leg,
hurried and purposeful.
"Move it!" Martinez yells, as the
recruits in training thunder
downstairs to stand outside, side by
side with their feet shoulder-width
apart and their hands clasped flat
behind their backs.
Boot tops are glistening. Laces
Hearts are pounding. It is 0620
hours, and Royal and 239 other
cadets, both old and new, will do
more before school starts than most
students do all day.
Wentworth Military Academy
and Junior College, founded in
1880, is one of the nation's oldest
military schools. Students as young
as 12 and as old as college
sophomores come to the school to
be enveloped in order, discipline,
respect and honor.
In addition to a rigid military
structure, the school prides itself on
strong academics that guide 95
percent of its graduates to college.
Classes start each day at 0800
hours - 8:00 a.m. An optional
before-school study period and a
mandatory evening study period
eventually become as
habitual for the cadets as reveille
And a tightly made bed with
unwrinkled sheets and hospital
corners begins to look as normal as
a messy room used to.
It all begins on the first day,
which for this year's students was
one week ago. Three ear-piercing
cannon blasts, not bells or buzzers,
sounded the start of the school year.
That's appropriate, said John
Tubbert, 17, a junior from
Leawood, Kan., who has been at
Wentworth two years.
"It has power. It has prestige. It's
can cost as little as two or three
dollars at a drug store. Also, if you
are not used to showering in a semi
public area, you may want to bring a
bathrobe. They also come in handy
if you have to walk down the hall
from the bathroom to your room.
Most college dorm rooms,
including those at CU-Springs, have
extra-long twin-sized mattresses that
use longer sheets. While sheets
usually can be ordered through the
mail from your college, you often
can find more stylish sheets at stores.
Extra-long comforters also are
available, but a regular twin
comforter will work just as well.
Other important items
real symbolism of the start of a real
Cadets had to be on campus at
least four days before the official
start of school so the Old Boys -
cadets enrolled longer than one
semester - could train the Rats in
the Wentworth way.
It's not your traditional learn
There's the marching. The
commands. Learning who
outranks whom. How to salute,
when to salute. The cleaning,
folding, straightening, polishing.
Early to bed, early to rise. Push
ups, sit-ups and jogging. Incessant
Just the repetition of it all.
"Elf!" Pause. "Elf!" Pause. "Elf!
(Which is "left, left, left, right" to
"Elf!" Pause. "Elf!" Pause. "Elf!
The school brings them in a fevi
cbqs. early sc. t h at ¢y t !" Fint day
of, classes, Rats should have the
routine down pat. It isn't easy,
tears are shed and tempers flare in
the learning process.
"I was shocked," Kim Kachner,
a college freshman from St. Joseph,
Mich., said of her first few days. "I
didn't realize how military it would
Everybody was doing things I
didn't understand. I called my
mom and cried."
And why not? Cadets shower
communally, there are no doors on
bathroom stalls, and all the niceties
of home are long gone.
"Do you remember television?"
Kachner asked one of her fellow
Rats. "That thing that looks like a
box with pictures on it?"
David Nevels, 12, of Blue
Springs, Mo., was so disoriented
and homesick on the first day of
classes, he couldn't bring himself
to eat breakfast with his company.
"I'm just not hungry," the
seventh-grader shrugged, as scores
of other cadets scarfed their chow
in relative silence, save scraping,
Homesickness is not nurtured at
Wentworth. Even on the first day.
Alan Buckrucker of Kansas City
is the same age as Nevels and in the
company - Foxtrot. But he is an
Old Boy, having been at
Wentworth since the sixth grade.
Though he is smaller, he has the
right to order Nevels around.
Nevels doesn't like it much.
Buckrucker revels in it.
Buckrucker says he will make no
allowances for Nevels. "I just don't
believe in it (homesickness)," said
Buckrucker, the product of
two military parents. "Everybody
has to get away from their parents
at some point."
School officials say homesickness
usually wears off after two or three
weeks, once the routine becomes
second nature and the Rats bond
Rat buddies - walking in line
together, getting reprimanded
together and memorizing their Rat
include a laundry hag, Fritz says,
especially if it is a cool color, a
message hoard for your door so
friends can leave notes.
Also, make sure to bring
dishes: A plate, cup, howl and some
silverware should work for most
Many students bring
computers, stereos and televisions to
college. One caution: 4-foot speakers
or a big-screen television may be too
large for dorm rooms. And the chances
of expensive equipment getting
broken or damaged in a dorm room
are higher than they are at home.
"I (sir//ma'am) am (sir//ma'am)
lower (sir//ma'am) than (sir//
ma'am) a (sir//ma'am) snake's (sir/
/ma'am) belly (sir//ma'am)," is one
line of five pages of facts Rats must
recall on demand. Once the facts are
memorized, Rats earn their hat
brass, which gives them Old Boy
privileges for one day.
They can call their parents, drink
soda and talk to other Old Boys at
meals. They can travel from point
A to point B without having to walk
the Rat line - a narrow line with
sharp corners. And they don't have
to ask permission to speak, scratch
or otherwise move while standing in
If a Rat breaks one of these rules
before earning the hat brass,
physical training usually is the
"Give me 10!" company
commander Martinez yelled to
Brooke Staples, 15, of Laurel, Miss.,
who forgot she was supposed to call
the hall to attention at first sight of
"One, ma'am ... Two, ma'am"
puffed Staples, who as
. a high school
freshman is one of the youngest giris
ever admitted to Wentworth. Girls
usually aren't admitted until their
Just as Staples reached push-up
number 10, Martinez walked away,
missing the Rat's barely audible
"Permission to recover, ma'am?"
Five seconds went by. Six, seven.
"Did she speak?" Staples
whispered, arms straining, cheeks
She would not relax her arms until
she was told to. The discipline was
"A lot of the females this year are
here because they want to be here,
and that makes our jobs a lot
easier," said Jill Girod, a senior from
About half of the school's
residential population chose
Wentworth themselves; many hope
to pursue military careers. The
other half came
because parents wanted them here.
Bad grades or constant behavior
problems prompted the severe
change in scholastic environment.
And the investment is a big one;
tuition and fees come to about
$19,000 a year.
But for many students, officials
and cadets say, it pays off in the end.
Vicky Orozco, a senior from
Houston, said she was into drugs
and gangs and
skipping school until her parents
shipped her off to Wentworth two
Today, she has straightened up
and wants to study to be a
physician's assistant in college.
"When you're here, who you are
back home doesn't matter," Orozco,
17, said. "At first, you're just a Rat
like everybody else."
Following the Rat line. Marching
and polishing. Up at 0600.
Formation before breakfast, lunch
and dinner. Mandatory cleaning
detail. A full day's classes. Physical
training every day.
"Double time it, Rat!" "Drop and
give me 20!" Mandatory study
Prepare for tomorrow. Iron and
polish. And, depending on your age,
in bed every night by 2200 or 2300
Day is done. Gone the sun....