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Behind Closed Dorms

Racquet Exclusive: "Dorm Room Cribs" in Coate Hall room 231

By Jeff Steele
On February 21, 2010

 Each year, thousands of eager college students arrive at UW-La Crosse and eye up the burgundy brick buildings they will call home for the next year. After the turn of a key and the click of a lock, their door creeks open to reveal an empty cavern enclosed by four white brick walls. Bolted desks and aged shelves jut from the sides of the room and two seemingly uncomfortable mattresses lie on the floor. Its sheer blandness is enough to make most students cringe and parents sympathize for their matriculating offspring. Most students view these circumstances as disappointing and unfortunate, but for students like Sam Gavic, it's as an opportunity for creativity. 

While Gavic's room may not quite rival the luxuries found on MTV's Cribs, it's certainly refreshing when it comes to conventional room designs. Those who enter Gavic's room are instantly surrounded with paintings ranging from Johnny Depp to a man in a business suit with an astronaut helmet entitled, "Spacesuit." As Snoop Dog plays on a laptop steaming Pandora in the background, it becomes hard to believe that this is in fact a dorm room. 

The bachelor pad's dim lights cast well-defined shadows over meticulously placed paintings that guard a large flat screen TV. Guitars and dream catchers skillfully hang from the ceiling like stalactites while Bob Marley sheets plaster the ceiling. A $20 Salvation Army couch invites guests to stay awhile. Paintings with electrifying colors contrast the esoteric balance of faint Christmas lights strung throughout the room. It soon becomes evident the amount of time that's been invested in creating an aesthetically pleasing room accurately reflecting Gavic's personality. 

"I painted those over summer", said Gavic, motioning towards the flank of his room to a painting of Che Guevara juxtaposing one of Bob Marley. "I was going for a revolution theme." 

Gavic's revolution theme parallels his creative epiphany from his freshman year to his sophomore year. "My room looked nothing like this when I was a freshman. It was very boring." His inspiration came from being envious of rooms he had seen as a freshman and wanting a room that he "enjoys hanging out in."  

Gavic explained that one of the main goals of his room design was to increase the space. "Dorm rooms look small but there is so much you can do with them." 

After mounting a large flat screen TV and constructing a rustic wooden bed frame that encapsulated the room, the size of the room drastically increased and Gavic often has students asking if he gets a bigger room because he is an RA. 

Spread across the floor lays a carpet that has a unique story of its own. "My dad gets leftover carpet squares from his job. Each square is from a difference sample and I thought it would be cool to put them all together."

Gavic emphasized that he enjoys spending time in his room. "Your room should be a place where you want to hang out and socialize. You often see roommates on opposite sides of a room with their faces in their computers—this limits communication." 

When asked if there was anything missing from his room, Gavic replied that he wanted "a fire pole to slide from room to room and a lofted queen-sized bed," while his roommate enthusiastically responded that he wanted everything encrusted in gold. 

The way your room looks says a lot about what kind of person you are and reflects your hobbies, interests, and personality. Students usually only live on campus for an academic eye blink, but it is usually at this time the strongest bonds are made. What is a room but an appendage of your individuality? Gavic's advice for students who want a feng shui room is: "There are no limitations to what you can do with a room. All you need is an idea and motivation." 


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