Moving into the residence halls can be exciting, but freshmen beware.
Don’t be fooled by the pink wallpaper in your hallway or the plump couches in the lounge; danger lurks in every corner. Despite efforts by the ResHall staff, most halls are ailing, abused and just plain old. If you want to stay safe, don’t do the following…
Overcrowd the elevators: a student died in the late 1980s in San Miguel’s East Tower when he and his floormates crowded into an elevator for a group picture. Under the residents’ weight the elevator gave out, and as it descended the student attempted to jump out but was tragically and fatally squished between the elevator ceiling and the top floor. So don’t overcrowd the elevators, and next time you get a chance, check out the last inspection date on that elevator you’re in.
Play with matches: Candles are not allowed in the residence halls, however many students light them anyway to improve the smell of their rooms or create a certain ambiance. Left unattended, the candles can easily torch curtains or other flammable objects, including roommates and your stuff.
Forget your shower shoes: There’s a reason they tell you to bring these things – the showers are a slippery war zone. The ResHall maintenance crew tries to keep the bathrooms clean, but don’t say we didn’t warn you when you find a nasty foot fungus or slip in the shower and seriously hurt yourself. Shower shoes are a must.
A lot of drugs or alcohol: Probably the most avoidable health hazards in the dorms are ingested regularly by students. If you’re lucky, an overdose only means a trip to the hospital and if you’re not, well… Also, even if you don’t overdose, you can get kicked out of the dorms.
Eat: From rancid old meat in the mini-fridge to broccoli con worms in the dining halls, be careful with food. When in doubt, throw it out.
Forget your umbrella: In 2000 there was some pretty serious flooding in San Miguel. The eighth floor of the West Tower was under about an inch of water one morning with sporadically bursting pockets of water under the paint in most rooms. The roof had leaked so much that one of the elevator shafts had flooded, making the elevator inoperable. If your roof leaks, tell maintenance so they can at least spray some disinfectant to get rid of the inevitable mold.
Leave the windows open on a breezy day: The lagoon stink is an integral part of eternal residence hall stench. UCSB recently started a program to decrease lagoon funk, but the stench will always exist. Combined with your gaseous and unshowered roommate, this can be a pretty dangerous element of residence hall life.
Feed the wildlife: A local kid almost died last year from Raccoon Roundworm, a serious parasite that about 70 percent of raccoons in California carry. They can also carry rabies.
Burn your hand: The lounges are equipped with electric stoves, which are not as dangerous as their gas counterparts, however they can still cause a nasty burn. So be careful when cooking, and don’t leave your cooking food unattended.
Fall out of bed: Most of the bunk beds aren’t equipped with rails, so falling out isn’t as hard as you would expect. At least one student fell off his top-bunk bed in 2000 and had to go to the hospital with a concussion.