Shared spaces should mean happy faces

Renting near Portland State’s urban campus is no miserly endeavor. Many students elect to reside as close to their classes as possible, and cost issues will mean dormitory life for many of you.

Renting near Portland State’s urban campus is no miserly endeavor. Many students elect to reside as close to their classes as possible, and cost issues will mean dormitory life for many of you.

What follows is common sense for many renters, especially after freshman year. But where there is mass housing, there are obnoxious tenants, so read on and pass this along if you know some of them. ?

On hygiene
Everyone has different standards for what qualifies as good hygiene. Regardless, the scraggy-bearded, soap-fearing miscreant who thinks brushing his teeth is a weekly activity ruins his sensible roommate’s dorm experience in a stark, unpleasant way.

Not every dorm room has a shower or bath, so daily showering may slip in the face of constant study hours and 18-hour Pabst parties. However, each residence hall offers some avenue of bathing—though if you can’t bring yourself to cleanse communally, go home or to a friend’s house every few days and wash off the stink of academia and secondhand American Spirit smoke.

Renters with private bathing quarters should do themselves, their roommates and building mates a favor and use them regularly. It can be a quick rinse with a dollop of Axe gel; it can be an hour spent shaving, tweezing, rinsing, scrubbing and exfoliating. Either way, you’ll feel better about yourself when you’re clean and the folks next to you in cramped lecture halls will appreciate it. ?

On music

You’ve just picked up AC/DC’s greatest hits album. (Too old? I’m a classics guy. Feel free to substitute with a Lady Gaga/Adam Lambert/B.o.B. album…I saw those names on the VH1 website, so they must be hot.) You know it’s gonna sound awesome with the bass high, the treble low and the volume set to max. You’re going to have a rocking good time…and then find burning bags of poo outside your door.

Music usually sounds better loud, but it doesn’t need to thud through walls or bounce down hallways. Note that you can get written up for noise complaints, which is training for big-people dorms (known also as apartments), though unlike the 50 warnings you’ll get on campus, a real-life landlord will evict you after three. Learn the lesson now, and only crank it if you know the people in earshot will appreciate it. ?

On waste
Please don’t be that jackass who leaves their busted crap in the laundry room, the stairwell or the elevator lobby in sheer laziness. If it’s broken furniture that can’t be repaired or sold on Craigslist, dispose of it properly. If it’s a bag of garbage with week-old, unfinished tuna salad sandwiches in it, be an adult and take it outside your damn self.

Also, it comes off as crass and selfish to decorate the hall with crumpled paper, McDonald’s cups, inkless pens and the like. This is usually the fault of freshmen who don’t have mommy around to ground them for making a mess. The worst mess you can make, however—well, see below. ?

On booze/drugs

This part is almost exclusively for the frosh who are, for the first time, experiencing the liberty and independence of life without their folks. I won’t ask you not to enjoy the rite of passage that is unpunished “shit-facery.” I’m just asking that you not be obnoxiously loud when you stumble toward your door, and if you’re going to puke, please make it back to your room or else don’t leave wherever you were drinking until you stop spewing your ethanol-bile soup in every direction—I’ve seen too many vomit streaks on walls, stairs and elevator doors in my dorm history.

As for drug use, it gets vexing when everyone on your floor has to smell the wafting smoke of your joints. Moreover, if your roommate isn’t on the same page as you, a quick complaint and disciplinary action awaits you each time you toke at home or spill bong water on university-owned carpet (trust me on this one). Past that, if you’re going to play around with harder stuff, you’d better be absolutely certain your roommate won’t be offended. Actually, just leave your hard partying for term breaks when you’re off campus—it’s no fun taking a sociology exam with a skull full of ketamine, anyhow. Or just apply at Reed and enjoy Renn Fayre.