Today: Jul 23, 2024

What Southern was like when I was a freshman


Andrew Laudicina

Staff Writer

When I was a freshman, New Student Orientation was the entire week before the semester began. We moved in a week before the upper classmen and had three days of NSO ice breakers nonsense. One of the best parts was a casino night we had early in the week, which Southern got in trouble for having from what I heard since it involved gambling. A huge tent was set up in the quad where Wilkinson and Chase dorms are.

There were all sorts of different casino games and tables to play. My friends and I played blackjack.
Whenever we won, the dealer would give you a raffle ticket to enter into the raffle to win prizes. The dealer we had just kept giving us raffle tickets anyways. It was a blast and everyone was having an awesome time.

Now, there is nothing fun like this at Southern. I think if you want fun during NSO, you ask to be the group leader and walk around waving a giant number sign.

When I was a freshman, there were Fitch Street parties. A group of students lived on the street and would have two or three parties a week. At times there would be over 350 people. It was nuts and it was fun. These students were also the only people who held a giant spring week party every year with a dunk tank, a barbeque and much more. I got to meet friends the natural way, not through some First Year Experience program which Southern offers presently.

Today at Southern, there is nothing whatsoever to do during spring week except cross my fingers and hope a good band comes to play. As for doing something fun instead of partying, I think there was some Jeopardy event something or other in the quad last week…oh wait, that was postponed. And if students still want to party, they have to go downtown to the clubs and risk being stabbed or sexually assaulted.

When I was a freshman, everyone went to all the home football games on Friday nights. The entire student section and hell, the rest of the bleachers were filled with people. The student section was loud. People cheered with the cheerleaders. Fast forward to today, I can’t name a single friend of mine that even thinks about going to a game. Even beginning with my sophomore year, I went to maybe one game with a few friends, and we were like “Screw this, this is lame.” We began to notice the men’s rugby team won more games than the football team and more students were beginning to go to rugby games instead of football games.

And to prove my point, when the men’s rugby team went to the New England regional final in the fall of 2008, they played the same day I believe the football team had an away game. There were fan buses sponsored by the school to go to both games. The football fan bus was cancelled because not enough students wanted to go, yet the rugby bus was full to the max and may have even had a waiting list if I recall correctly.

When I was a freshman, freshmen could have cars on campus. Instead of taking the city bus or campus shuttle wherever I wanted to go, I got in my car and drove myself. If I wanted to go out for dinner instead of eating the absymal food at Connecticut Hall, I got in my car and drove. If I wanted to go to work, I got in my car and drove. Beginning with 2009-2010 school year, Southern decided to ban freshmen residents from having cars on campus, which didn’t bother me since I was a senior by that point. The reason for the banning was because the campus was becoming over crowded with cars between commuters and residents. When I was a freshman, we all lived in two person dorm rooms with an occasional third person in maybe two rooms an entire dorm building. Then, Southern began to stuff a third student in each dorm room which began increasing the car population on campus even more.

So, instead of beginning to work on a new parking garage, which I’ve been hearing about for what seems like years now, Southern decided to put the ban into effect. Even with the ban in effect, Southern is still over crowded with cars among residents. There were times where I’d go back to North Campus at midnight and there wouldn’t be a single spot open. I’d have to drive around burning gas for 20 minutes waiting for someone to hopefully leave.

And commuters still have trouble finding parking spots, although according to an article from last week’s Southern News, Nick Corvi of Traffic Control said, “It’s because kids don’t know where to go, they can’t read a map.” Southern should either begin to offer a class for commuters to learn how to read a map or just build a parking garage already and maybe students won’t be complaining anymore.

Oh when I was freshman….

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