Video: Employees and students share thoughts about UM dorms

Skye Spiehler
Oxford Stories

Martin and Stockard Hall, home to hundreds of University of Mississippi freshmen, is also a popular workplace. Employees say they generally enjoy working with students.

And while some students enjoy living in the dorms, others say dorm life can be challenging.

Freshman Community Advisor Daniel Comeaux decided to work as a CA this year because he wanted to help the freshman community become acclimated to college.

“I wanted to be somebody they could come to in tough times and kind of serve as a mentor to some of the younger students at Ole Miss,” he said.

Jhoselyne Guerra, who has worked for the Provisions on Demand Market in the dorm for more than three years now, enjoys her job.

“I meet new people every year from different places,” she said. “They come back to see me. Making bonds is pretty awesome.”

Officer Vernon Rogers, who has worked as a security guard for 27 years, said the campus security team has a good relationship with most students who reside in dorms. “There are some bad sides that come with it, especially when it comes to drinking,” he said.

Dorm employees have witnessed a number of interesting scenes. “(I’ve seen) so much,” Rogers said. “You name it, I’ve seen it…”

Comeaux recalled a specific incident that occurred earlier this year. “One of the fourth floor residents, they found a tree outside,” he said. “They broke it up into little pieces, and they turned the bathroom into a jungle. And although it was against housing policy, I would say the bathroom smelled very nice.”

Guerra said someone threw a Snickers candy bar at him last year. “I had to send them to jail,” he said. “Well, my supervisor called the cops. And then earlier this year, a boy got mad because I wouldn’t give him quarters for change, and he said he was going to rob me.”

While dorms can be an entertaining place to live, they can also be problematic, according to Stockard sixth floor resident Michael Nelson. The freshman accounting major spends much of his time studying in the library.

“Stockard gets so loud,” Nelson said. “People blare trap music to where you can hear it all the way down the hall, and people kick balls around and just go crazy in the hallways.”

While Nelson enjoy the laid back and, at times, rambunctious nature of dorm life, he has trouble getting work done there. His next door neighbor, Chad Gutierrez, said his opinion of dorms has changed since the beginning of the year.

“I liked it at first because it helped me meet a lot of people,” he said. “I actually had the option to live in the nicer dorms, but decided to live in traditional housing, specifically Stockard, because it’s known as the place to be to meet people.”

However, this semester, he has found himself staying with his brother off campus more and more.

“Now when I walk in the dorm, it just smells,” Gutierrez said. “It’s a pain to do laundry, and I’ve slowly started moving myself over to my brother’s apartment.”

While Gutierrez is not the biggest fan of dorm life now, he found the experience valuable. “It wouldn’t have been the same experience if I hadn’t lived in the dorm,” he said, “so I’d definitely say I enjoyed it to some extent, but I’m glad it’s over.”

While everyone interviewed admitted there are downsides to dorm life and that conditions are sometimes less than ideal, they said living in the dorm as a freshman is a unique and exciting experience.


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