“What to bring and what to leave behind”: Students hide contraband in dorm rooms

Elyssa Penson, Staff Writer

As college has gone on, I’ve been increasingly pushing the limits on what I can get away with having in my dorm. It starts with your standard contraband — a couple candles, a panini press, a baby sea lizard — the classic dorm room essentials that really flaunts your carelessness in the face of the Establishment. At this point, it seems a little too risky to add a hot plate to the mix; I’m not an animal. 

Also, I was on the University website, reading the list “What to bring and what to leave behind,” and I just found out that we’re not allowed to have pool-noodle samurai swords. So, I had to buy a real one off eBay, which I can totally get behind to avoid any nefarious aquatic crimes. 

I think I can definitely get away with the sword and the baby turtle dragon, but I do have one of those mini donut-makers that really concerns me. That feels like one of those things that feels a little too bourgeois to get away with. On the bright side, I do think I can get away with having a piranha because they said that we can’t have carnivorous fish, and he’s a vegetarian. So, I think it should be okay. Public Safety would really like him once they got to know him.

Looking through my collection of contraband has led me to ask myself a lot of important questions, such as “Who makes the rules for what we can and can’t have in our dorms?” “Why is having a fish that eats people on the same level as owning a hot plate?”  “Does that make having an electric eel a double offense?” I’m not sure, but I am definitely not buying a hot plate. The jury is still out vis-à-vis the eel. 

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