Life in the new Binford
September 10, 2004
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Three years ago, Binford hall was synonymous with words like “crackhouse,” “hellhole,” and “condemned garbage dump.”
Now, however, the mostly first-year hall is a great place to live. Toilets are cleaned weekly, doors are open, and it doesn’t smell all that bad most of the time. Despite its shadowy, legendary past, Binford today with its “larger than Milner” rooms is a place I’m proud to call home.
Three years ago Binford became an all first-year dorm. This idea, which looked good on paper, played out worse than the Soviet Union. According to Matt Salisbury, Binford Hall Director, the dorm was a totally different place. As an incoming first-year, Matt witnessed the pandemonium of life in Binford.
Without the guidance of upper class residents, the first-years partied like it was their job. Everything was a mess, especially in the hallway, where trash cans were continually knocked over, spilling everything from garbage to vomit. The RAs were hard to find, and sleeping at night required good earplugs.
This year Binford is once again a first-year hall, minus trash cans. New this year, however, is a pilot program being conducted by the RAs and the Community Conflict Resolution Center (CCRC) called Community Agreements. The intention is to work on building a community where everyone has a say in what’s being decided. In the words of Matt, “it’s a step towards giving people more of a voice.”
One of the best things about living in Binford is the openness of the hall. At any time of the night, you can always find someone to talk to. There is a gargantuan amount of friendliness spreading with the common cold. And despite boredom attacks leading to the hanging of string all over the halls, most people end up getting work done.
This isn’t the first year of Binford’s transformation. Last year Binford was mostly first-years and things went smoothly. Now, as then, themed wings contribute to the greatness that is life in Binford. I live in the ‘Literary Arts’ wing, and enjoy the ability to get help from classmates rooming next to me.
Although a week after moving in I got tackled in the hallway of my dorm, resulting in a broken clavicle, Binford remains one of my favorite places on campus.
But the best part for me is the experience you get from living together with people that are going through the same thing as you are.
There’s nothing greater than seeing a group of people who would have hardly talked to each other three weeks ago gather to watch Kill Bill Vol. 2 in the lounge together.