I recently gave up the life of dorm-rat and became human again; I engaged in the ritual college art of leasing an apartment. Being that as it may, I had already, previously, signed an annual contract with Residential Life and Housing, selling my soul to another year in the dorm and sharing a bathroom with a half-dozen other girls.
Calling in June, I informed Housing that I would not be returning to my beloved hovel. A few months later I got to thinking about that $200 deposit I coughed up nearly 3 years earlier. “Wait a freak’n minute!” thinks I, “Don’t I get my $200 back?” So I phone Housing. Oh sorry, I’m told, I might have been able to get my deposit back if it had been any other quarter besides fall. What? Excuse me? I lived 2 years in the same room. I religiously swept, mopped, and dusted it with such loving care that I would have made Martha Stewart a shade green with envy. I slept on a mattress that was once white but was now brown with what I presumed to be bloodstains or of other unknown origins, shared a bathroom with several other girls where in one shower stall was the same glob of hair stuck to the wall for a year, had to put up with a heater that turned on when it was 80 degrees out and wouldn’t when it was freezing. The window in my room never locked and therefore when winter winds whipped up, my room became a vortex of homework, dust, and those funny looking bugs that were all over despite my constant flattening with a heavy book.
The second year one desk drawer mysteriously disappeared and it was eventually replaced 6 months later with a drawer that neither open nor shut and was a constant hazard to my body. I gave up on my window being fixed and used duct tape around its edges, learned to kick my heater as a method of turning it on and off, and found that kicking the knocking, banging heater outside my room in the lobby didn’t work as well and spent 3 months trying to sleep with it despite.
Oh, and my garbage can had a big hole in the bottom; a bit of a hindrance I’d say. I even cleaned the insides of the drawers, the fronts, and the door to the room itself and the closet. That room was cleaner when I left it then it had ever been before. Had anyone ever thought of wiping off the top of the door? I think not…it was an archaeologist’s dream; I think I found 7 levels of occupation in the mound of dust over the door and could trace it back to the early 80’s.
The dorms are quoted as being a “vibrant” and “mature atmosphere”. I don’t know about vibrant, but vibrate would better define the noise coming from the wall connected to the room next to mine every Friday night. My point is that I fulfilled my contract for two years, cleaned that room so much that I bet the two unfortunates living in it currently can still smell the pine-sol. I canceled my room reservation long before the start of the quarter and I’m sure it’s crammed with two freshmen who fought over who got the brown mattress, so why couldn’t I get my deposit back? Because I signed an annual contract, but I deserve some re-payment for the pain and suffering induced by my tenure. The payment alone for my cleaning fees would be covered by the return of my deposit.