by Bruna Lauermann, Staff Writer
Move-in made the corridors of the residential buildings busy last week. But besides the energy of new faces and the return of old residents, the dorm walls and doors were also playing a role at the beginning of the semester excitement.
The floor themes, chosen and produced by the Resident Assistants, set the tone for the next six weeks.
Many RAs invest in ideas that are related to the moment in which the students are living. The fourth floor of Jasper Hall is home to Jenn Bueti, an English education major and RA of Jasper’s 4th floor, who said that it was the opportunity of growing that inspired her with the theme of gardening.
“I think the idea of seeds turning into flowers is very connected with the experience that freshmen are going to have in this first year of Manhattan College,” Bueti said. “It is the beginning of a new phase that will make all them grow.”
In Bueti’s floor, each of the freshmen girls have a specific kind of flower at the door of their rooms. Valezca Berber, freshmen and undecided major, liked the idea of looking sprouting into the new phase of her life.
“I think the theme is lovely,” said Berber. “I would like to videotape myself today, just to watch in the final semester of the university. I am sure I will change a lot.”
Gabby Kasper, 21, a senior majoring in English and Philosophy, is one of Lee Hall’s RAs. She created an Alice in Wonderland world to the residents of the sixth floor. She said the inspiration came from her passion for literature.
“I really like Alice in Wonderland, I am an English major and I wanted to do something book-related,” said Kasper. “I think the phrase ‘Don’t fall down the rabbit hole this semester’ is a great catchphrase. After the mural, I look up quotes from the book and back up information to connect with college life.”
Kasper said that the work took many steps before goes to the walls, but that the building community was an amazing ally to the task.
“All the RAs on the other floors were really collaborating,” said Kasper. “The work was not done when our respective floor was done, we just got satisfied when everyone had finished their walls and murals.”
The big images of Alice, the Cheshire Cat and all characters placed on the sixth floor are a puzzle.
“There is a website where you upload a big image, and it transforms in a puzzle for you to print,” explained Kasper about the biggest images in her floor.
On the fourth floor of Lee Hall, RA Jeremy Capuder used Toy Story memes to make fun of the hard and fun times that students can experience through the semester. The residents of the fourth floor can also play Buzz Lightyear in a mural called “Reach for the Sky,” where students are asked to share clubs and events that they participated or accomplishments and campus involvement during the semester. Close to the mural, note papers in cloud shape are available to form “the sky clouded with the success of the fourth floor.”
Another pair of hands that worked hard in the decoration of the walls were Nadia Itani, 20, civil engineering major; and Piotr Zarzecki, 21, mechanical engineering major, the co-RAs of Horan’s 10th floor.
“Our current theme follows the slogan “Quack, Quack! Welcome Back!” which is accompanied by a bunch of Donald Duck images and decorations,” said Itani. “My co-RA Piotr brought up the idea of the slogan and I couldn’t say no because I love cheesy puns too much.”
After that, they both looked online and came up with the idea to go with a full Donald Duck theme based on the slogan.
The difference in this floor is that some of the biggest images of the characters are hand made or painted by Itani.
“I actually found it to be really fun because I love arts and crafts,” Itani said. “The majority of our big work, like our bulletin board, consisted of hand-drawn images. I rolled out a large piece of white paper and began drawing. It seemed like a quicker and more fun option since the printer was in such high demand.”
Zarzecki was responsible for the witty puns and tips to residents such as “There is nothing duck tape can’t fix,” or “A great way to learn is to watch quack-umenturies!” In Zarzecki’s opinion, floor themes could absolutely affect a resident’s mood.
“Floor themes help make residents feel at home which helps develop community,” he said. “If our floor theme makes you smile then I feel that we accomplished our goal.”