A Farewell To Jones Residence Hall

I’ll never forget my first steps into Jones: the front desk, the overenthusiastic RAs, the girls wearing T-shirts far too long and the parents wondering when they could get the hell out of there.

After only seeing the standardized room on my tour that past April in Galena, and the summer welcome bedroom in Hudson, I knew coming in that Jones was an older dorm, but didn’t expect much differences… wrong. The walls were green. A pale, spring green that would perfectly clash with the colors my roommate and I had decided to use.

And the elevators... Picture the Hollywood Tower of Terror, including the penthouse party. The first couple of weeks, there were dozens of ringing sounds as student after student succumbed to the deathtrap. Countless times the elevator would (finally) arrive only to greet you with a uniformed man gruffly telling you to “take the next one,” which would induce the awkward backwards walk and closed mouth smile. I, thankfully never got stuck on one. However, my roommate did and said it wasn’t so bad and she made pleasant conversation with a boy who lived on the floor above us and whose name she couldn’t recall to this day.

Sans elevator malfunctions, and clashing walls, Jones was a home away from home. It was hard not to know many people with everyone being so closely confined and nine floors being forced to share one elevator. My next-door neighbor has become one of my greatest friends and will probably be in my wedding. (Don’t worry, Kelsey, I won’t put you at the end of the bridesmaid’s line-up).

Community-style living also brought close bonds. Once, I went to put my foot up on the bench in the shower, only to realize it was broken. As my assortment of soaps came tumbling down, immediately two girls asked if I was OK. I sheepishly yelped, “No, I’m great! Fine really!” and waited until I heard the door open and knew I could leave without having to shamefully look at them.

Jones love became real as I started to meet more people on my floor as well as the conjoining floor of boys above me. Interestingly though, fate brought me to a group of seventh floor boys who went to a school in Jefferson City, and it wasn’t a full day unless they made us stop and talk to someone, or a new face joined us at dinner who was also a Helias Crusader. (Rumor has it an unknown guest may make an appearance at their reunion luncheon.) As my Instagram popular feed began to fill with fellow Saders and my Twitter suggested I follow “Helias Catholic High School,” I knew Jones brought me a small desire to wish I had gone somewhere else for my precious four years of high school.

A farewell to Jones wouldn’t be complete without an early farewell to Dobbs. Although we still have some time left with Dirty Dobbs, soon freshman classes won’t know the wonderful taste that only an omelet made my Gwen, the most rocking cook in the dining hall, could bring. They won’t witness Fred, beloved fry cook, saying, “Thank you for coming by today,” as if you had a huge choice when the nearest option requires a walk almost across campus.

The paper plates, cups and bowls have their own style at Dobbs, and you’ll find yourself spoiled whenever you venture further and use — gasp — real dishes that instead of just throwing away (no really) you put on this majestic moving countertop that whisks your dirty dishes to the unknown. Wok Wednesday became a holiday and the spicy grilled chicken never failed to brighten your day.

Dirty Dobbs was home for some. I, myself, once sat there for three hours and later regretted it the rest of the day when I couldn’t seem to shake the smell that only Dobbs provides.

Farewell, Jones. As we watch you be torn down brick my brick, our older classmates will remember the days when it was an all girls sanctuary which then started housing boys. (Friends of mine did, in fact, suffer a paint fiasco of their own as their walls were a beautiful lavender that would’ve matched my room, but no biggie.)

Anyone who got to feel the true hominess of your walls or got stuck in one of your tiny elevators will know Jones love is real. And that there’s not a place on campus with the same feeling.