Every incoming freshman awaits the day that they can request their dorm. Months of looking and preparing led to this moment, the moment to pick the perfect place to live in. Many people put the nicer dorms such as Bluestone or East Campus and those sane people place the Lakeside dorms last.
I can remember the feeling when I opened “mymadison” to find out my housing information and the dorm read: “EAGLE”. Although I wouldn’t change my housing today after living here for 9 months and making the best friends I could ever imagine, there is no way I would ever advise any one to live in Eagle. In fact, I would call any person down right crazy for wanting to live in the Dirty Bird.
One main reason incoming residents should avoid living in the Dirty Bird is due to the lack of utilities that are provided. Residents of Eagle Hall are paying the same amount for room and board yet are one of the only dorms lacking air-conditioning as well as wireless internet. The sleepless battle with the heat is constant during the warmer months and even some days throughout the winter. As the spring time rolls around and the temperature starts creeping up, the heat is apparent throughout the dorm. Everyone keeps their doors and windows wide open with fans blowing from either end of the room. Cold showers, become the new relaxer and a bed comforter is no long needed. Sleep wear is minimal as the desert heat comes blaring throughout the night.
Along with the heat, the absence of wifi makes any student go crazy. Eagle lacks wireless internet on every floor besides the ground floor. Mobility with computers is ultimately cut off. Students cannot roam from room to room or simply sit on their bed and do work comfortably without cutting out the internet. Instead of the privilege of wifi, there is a nasty orange wire emerging from the side of the computer wrapped around the desk, behind the bed and up the side of the wall to plug in and allow residents to have internet access. For some residents no wifi makes doing work almost impossible. Eagle resident Alex McMillen’s computer rejects all Ethernet cables due to a malfunction in his computer. Alex has the daily struggle of either having to trek all the way from the seventh floor to the ground floor to use the minimal wifi or waiting for a hall mate to return and put on their macbook wifi. Alex describes this experience as “annoying to know that I have to rely on other people to have internet access.”
Along with computers being difficult the nonexistent wifi creates a problem with cellphones. As for myself I am constantly running over on my data plan due to the late night twitter checks or the ‘selfie Sundays’ posted in the morning. Each time I go over on my plan I owe the company ten dollars, money I simply don’t have. The lack of A/C and wifi cause issues throughout the year and even cause students, like myself, to have to pay some out of pocket money.
Another major issue that is a turn off for the Dirty Bird is the lack of staff, specifically the house cleaning staff. For all 500 residents and a total of 8 floors, there is a cleaning staff of four. Those living in Bluestone with about 150 residents have at least two cleaning staff members. The lack of staff make it difficult for our dorm to have a clean feel. The staff typically vacuums the hallways that the dorms are located on (carpeted area) and then clean the bathrooms. Multiple times I have gone to take a shower after they have been “cleaned” and there is still hair covering the walls or razor covers scattered on the floor. It irks me to know that I am supposed to be bathing and living in an area that can’t even maintain cleanliness. In the open area by the elevator I have witnessed the same bloodstain on the floor for almost a week before scuff marks made it unseen. The trash is constantly over flowing and stairwells seem to be the home of trash. Now I love our cleaning staff, however it is clear that the sanitation of our dormitory cannot be maintained because of the under staffing.
One final issue of living in the Dirty Bird is the reputation. Eagle Hall has continuously had a reputation for being the reckless dorm on campus. Over the weekends elevators are constantly broken there are various fire drills as well as the craziness of all 500 people. Almost every weekend there is a visit from local cops or an ambulance because someone went over their limits and drank too much. Most people just laugh it off and reply “its Eagle, what else would you expect”. Living with this reputation can sometimes be frustrating when people act wild and crazy and instead of taking blame for their actions simply blame it on the dorm.
Eagle Hall was a blessing for me; I have met the greatest friends here. However no matter where I lived I am sure that I would have met amazing people there as well. Although I have learned some great lessons and built character through the hardships I truly believe that I would have had an equally great or even better experience in any of the nicer housing facilities on this campus. Eagle is one of the nastiest, unaccommodating residential areas on campus and clearly needs a face lift within the next few years. For these reasons alone I would advise any incoming freshmen to avoid having to live in the Dirty Bird until further updates on the building and staff are made.