Freshman Year 101-- Dorm Checks

You may have noticed that fire alarms are going off across campus this week. While this is in fact a fire drill, it is also a dorm room check. So here are some tips to surviving your dorm check with minimal (hopefully zero!) fines!

1. Do not plug surge protectors into surge protectors. I don’t know why this is a rule, but it is. (I learned the hard way.) If your RA sees it, you will get fined, and they will temporarily confiscate your surge protectors.


2. If you have an extension cord, get rid of it. Extension cords are not permitted in dorm rooms, but you can find surge protectors with super long cords that will serve the same purpose.


3. If you don’t want the RA to see it, put it away. Don’t be an idiot. If you don’t want your RA to see your underwear strewn across your desk chair or whatever unmentionables you don’t want seen, then take a minute before you vacate your room to put that stuff away. RAs are not permitted to go digging through your drawers, but if something contraband is laying out in the open, they will take it and fine you.


4. The checks usually take between thirty minutes and hour depending on how many contraband materials each RA has to collect. Do yourself a favor—grab your phone, some homework, and a sweater (it’s cool outside). You can wait outside the dorm on the sidewalk, but it might be worth your time to go to the library or to a friend’s place to wait.


5. If you are in the shower (like I was, two years in a row), ask your roommate or anyone else in the bathroom to please let the RAs know you are in the shower. Rinse and dry off as quickly as possible, then go get dressed. Since the dorm check tends to take so long, they are not going to make you wait outside in a towel. If someone yells at you for not immediately leaving, politely tell them you were in the shower and had to get dressed.


Even if you’ve been caught off guard already this semester, these tips are something to keep in mind for next semester. And every semester after that. Until the end of your college career.


Best of luck, freshpeople!

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