Dorm room or prison cell?

Sarah Petnuch, Contributing Writer

As Halloween approaches, the scariest thing that could happen to the students and faculty at the University has happened: a spike in COVID-19 cases, right as we head into the last month of the fall semester.

To most people, the number of active cases at the University would seem minuscule, almost insignificant. But to the University administration, the world is on fire, and what this means for students is a shift into living in a strangely apocalyptic lifestyle that we have never before experienced. 

The streets? Empty. The facilities? Closed. Public Safety? Everywhere. We are now confined to our 15 x 12ft (as measured very painstakingly and accurately by my roommate laying on the floor; assuming she is approximately five and a half feet tall, she could hypothetically lay in the room three times one way, twice longways) dorm rooms.

Lately, however, this room has started to feel less like a dorm room and more like a prison cell. No one is allowed in, and no one is allowed out, at least if you’re following the rules — it’s almost like Alcatraz.

This makes life uncomfortable, considering the fact that most rooms have no heating or cooling, and no extra furniture is permitted, meaning we were given a desk, a closet and a bed which, if you didn’t bring a foam mattress cover, will make you feel as though you’re sleeping on a rock each night. 

“The walls are made of either plaster or cinder block, with little cracks, holes, and crevices in various corners of the room. And now, on top of it all, we can’t even leave,” Penny Tentiary ’22 said. “Sounds more and more like prison, right? There may as well be bars on the windows.” 

The only acceptable reason to leave said prison cell is if you’re going to get some beloved caf food of course, but if you have ever had caf food, you know that it is not going to do much to help the situation. It reminds me of prison food and I have not been to an actual prison yet.

It’s depressing if you think about it too hard; no workouts at the gym, no more blurry nights and no more broken exit signs. 

It almost makes me wonder why I should even bother staying on campus if all I have to do between the hours spent singeing my corneas looking vacantly at a computer screen is stare at the ceiling. Computer or ceiling, take your pick. 

As dismal as this all sounds, keep in mind that we only have a few weeks left, and as countless members of the faculty and staff have said, “We’re all in this together” (kind of).

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