Meet Taryn Carroll, former Richards resident

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.40.28 AMMeet Taryn Carroll, an engineering student who is former resident of Richards House. Taryn is an Admissions Ambassador, member of the rowing team, and involved in the Residence Hall Association.

Living in Richards was one of the best things that has happened to me since getting into Lehigh.

Richards is in a relatively central location.  It is higher up than the centennials, but lower on the mountain than Dravo.  I personally believe that Richards has one of the best locations of dorms on campus.  We are one staircase away from the Rathbone dining hall, a two minute walk from Hawks Nest (a popular place to get food and milkshakes late at night) and a five minute walk from our other dining hall, Cort, so food is never far away.  Getting to classes is easy as well.  You will always have to walk down to class and back up the mountain to get home, but after a few weeks, you get used to the up and down of Lehigh.  Me and my friends joked that at school there is really no left or right, but just up and down at Lehigh.

Richards House consists of four floors with A and B sides or wings.  Three of the floors are houses boys and one of the floors houses girls.  This was definitely something that I had to get used to right after moving in.  The benefit of having each floor split into A and B halls is that you have an opportunity to get close with the girls and guys you are living with.  Another benefit is that you can also get to know your gryphon better.  My hall was around 24 girls and our gryphon did a great job getting to know each of us.  She even left us little gift bags for holidays and always made herself available to talk when we had a question or a problem.  She became one of my close friends during the year and having her as a friend definitely helped make my first year so much better.

I had the pleasure of living in both a single and a double during my year in Richards.  Both the singles and doubles are spacious and offer plenty of room for storing anything from extra plastic drawers to a few sleds for when it snows. Me and my roommate had two sleds in our double and still had room for all the carloads of other things we brought to school.

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An organization I got involved with on campus was Residence Hall Council, or RHC.  Throughout the year, the RHC met and planned events for the residents.  We had great success with all of our events and I would like to believe that they helped bring together our already close knit building.  Some examples of events that we have done include Mr. Richards (a “man pageant” in which guys signed up to compete to win the show through a talent portion, Q&A and text to vote rounds), the Richies Award Show (an award show where we gave out superlatives and awards to residents after nominations and votes were cast), Belated Spring Equinox Cactus Decorating Party.  When you get to school, I would urge you to get involved with RHC by either running for a position on the board or by attending the weekly meetings.

To close out this blog post, I want to talk pros and cons of living in Richards.  I asked some of my friends who I lived with and this is what they had to say:

Chris Watson: Pros- You get a solid ball court and two lounges. Cons- Showers get cold when toilets are flushed and the death stairs

Brandon Fuerst: Pro- One connected community area

Kari Moffat: Pro- The living space was always clean and spacious.  The location next to hawks nest was also a huge pro.  I felt safe in Richards.  The basketball court/parking lot was also a pro. Con- No AC and you can hear everything through the walls.

Carine Leslie: Pro- Because it’s not a huge dorm you really get to know the people you’re living with and become really close with them over the year.

Freddy Coleman: Pros- Small enough to know most residents, has basketball court, grill out front, has two lounges for studying or recreation, Logan hodges is head gryphon next year, bigger rooms than most dorms, not too far from classes, close to hawks nest, the gym isn’t to far. Cons- No air conditioning, Lacey Quinn is not the head gryphon anymore, it’s the second highest freshmen dorm.

Alex Brint: Pro- the way the halls work helps everyone become close. Cons- Can’t think of any

Cassie Gakos: Pro- Big rooms, everyone shared the same two lounges and that was great. (made it easy to meet everyone in the building). Cons- Not too many girls, less socializing than M&M.  I don’t have many cons honestly we had like the best dorm ever

Josh Finklestein: Pros: Not too big not too small, facilitates a close and diverse community.

Mike Di Martino: Pros- The lounges provided a great sense of community if you chose to take advantage of them. Con- It’s kinda hike to get there

Lexi Zargar: Pros- Really big rooms and good sized bathrooms, there’s not too many people living there so you get really close to people in your hall and building. Con- The only con I can think of is we don’t have lounges on every floor

Hilbert Chen: Pros- you really get close with your hall. Cons- some people take the term “work hard, play hard” and completely ignore the work hard part

Rachel Keller: Pro- The community type living.  I feel like we all grew really close from the set up of the building, and all of the celebrations we had were awesome! Con- Since there was only one study lounge, it could get pretty rowdy at times!

Also here are some links to YouTube videos that you can check out to get more of a feel of Richards is like!

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3KWPw56SG0 (Video tour of a double)

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BlhtQsZ9xM (Video tour of a single)

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXU7yrwNQgc (Opening video for RHC’s Mr. Richards)

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1mSGVLuY2c (Opening video for RHC’s Richies Awards)

Thanks for reading and can’t way to see you all on campus!

Meet Yaz Bhote, former Richards resident

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Meet Yazata Bhote, a former resident of Richards House who will be a Gryphon in Upper Centennials this year!

Hi Class of 2018! I’m here to help you prepare for what will be one of the most fun experiences of your life – freshman year of college! If you have any worries about the transition to college, just know that in my experience, everyone finds their niche in the Lehigh community by the end of freshman year. Your gryphon (or RA) will be very helpful in this transition. My gryphon, Lacey, became one of my friends and someone I could go to for just about anything!

So first of all, you’re living in Richards – Congrats!!! Richards is a beautiful dorm on the outside (just Google image search “Richards House Lehigh” and you’ll see what I’m talking about) and it has, by college standards, HUGE rooms. Each room is very spacious, and there is a good mix of doubles and singles in the building. Richards is a co-ed building with 4 floors. When I lived there, there was 1 floor of girls and 3 floors of boys. Each hall is divided into an A and B side and each side of the hall becomes very close.

In terms of location, Richards is close to pretty much everything. It is very close to the library and about equidistant from both dining halls. An added perk of Richards is that it is right across from Hawk’s Nest, a delicious late night fast food joint that serves food until 2 a.m. or 4 a.m., depending on the day. The only downside to Richards’ location is that it is situated very high on the Lehigh hill (higher than almost all classes, both dining halls, and the libraries), so be prepared to tone your leg muscles climbing the “death stairs” everyday.

There are a lot of ways to enjoy yourself in Richards, whether it’s playing basketball right outside Richards or playing pool in the game room. Richards has two lounges, a TV lounge  and a study lounge. Both are air conditioned which is a life saver in the August heat of orientation week. Richards is also equipped with a full kitchen, so you can cook and bake to your heart’s content!

There are some cons of living in Richards…besides having to take the death stairs every day. The showers in the bathrooms have curtains instead of doors, which can make you feel very unprotected at first, but you get used to it. The laundry room is located in the basement, which can be inconvenient if you have to lug clothes up and down from one of the higher floors in Richards. It can also be very loud inside and outside of Richards due to the sheer amount of people living in the dorm, so I would recommend packing earplugs.

Here a few tips to keep in mind before you start your freshman dorm experience. If you can, snag a bathroom cubby close to the sink when you move in. It makes it so much easier to have your toiletries at arm’s reach. Brighten up your room with Christmas lights and posters – you would be surprised how they can transform a room! Pack comfortable shoes because you will be making the daily trek up to Richards. Lastly, pack light. I know how hard this can be, but trust me; it will make your life much easier at the end of the school year.

Welcome class of 2018!

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Meet Eden Weinflash, former Richards resident

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.27.38 AMMeet Eden Weinflash, a rising sophomore who is pursuing a Psychology major and Business minor in the 5-year BA/MA Education Program. As a Richards House resident, Eden was involved with Residence Hall Council, and will be a Gryphon in Stoughton next year.

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was getting ready to begin my first year at Lehigh. I was feeling everything incoming students usually feel: nerves, excitement, and lots of anxiety (you’re not alone!). After getting my housing placement, I immediately turned to my best friend—the Internet—to see what Richards House was all about. My first thought was Oh my god,of course my dorm is on the top of the mountain. But, after accepting the fact that I might be out of breath for the first few weeks, I came to the conclusion that my dorm life would be whatever I’d make of it. I knew I had to go in with an open mind in order to soak up all that Lehigh—and my residence hall—had to offer.

Richards was an amazing place to begin my college career. It is the smallest of the residence hall complexes, so I can safely say I knew a good portion of my fellow dorm mates. It also has two lounges: one for studying and one for, well, lounging! Although at times it was hard to distinguish between the two (college kids love lounging more than they love studying…), these rooms were great places to meet and bond with everyone in Richards.

I immediately got involved with Richards’ Residence Hall Council, a resident-run activities committee, similar to my high school’s student government. We had the opportunity to plan events for our dorm, through which even more bonding occurred! We had a Super Bowl party, a Halloween event where the three floors of boys went to the girls’ floor to trick-or-treat, a cactus-decorating party, and even an awards show at the end of the year! Our RHC worked hard to make sure everyone in Richards was having a good time, and it definitely paid off. Get involved with your RHC in the fall, or even just attend events; you won’t regret it.

Although I love Richards, and everyone has true pride in their respective residence halls, it’s important to remember how close you are to all the other first-year halls! Dravo is just a few steps up the mountain, and I made a lot of my best friends there. We’re lucky that Lehigh’s campus is tight enough that we can walk to any of our friends’ dorms; take advantage of that!

Good luck in preparing for (and beginning) your first year at Lehigh, class of 2018! With an open mind and a good attitude, you’ll definitely have the time of your life.

Living in Richards House

Richards House, a first-year residence hall, honors the memory of Charles Russ Richards, president of Lehigh University from 1922 to 1935. The building, which was renovated in 2007, is the smallest of the first-year residential complexes and is home to a tight-knit community of 192 students and 7 dynamic Gryphons. Residents live in singles, doubles, and triples on four single gender floors. All the rooms contain movable furniture, including a bed, desk with bookshelf, desk chair, dresser, bulletin board, and closet or wardrobe for each resident.

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Richards boasts beautiful views, prime location on the “Quad”, close proximity to Lamberton Hall and Hawk’s Nest, and an outdoor basketball court. A TV lounge, study lounge, game room, kitchen, vending machines and laundry facility are on the first floor.

 

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To view building floor plans and room layouts, check out the Residential Services website! http://www4.lehigh.edu/housing/residencehalls/az/richards.aspx.

Living with a Roommate

Congratulations on receiving your housing assignment! Going to college and moving into a residence hall is very exciting, but sharing your space with a roommate can be difficult. Read these tips for how to have a great relationship with your roommate and make the most of your residential experience! If you have a problem with your roommate, be sure to seek out your Gryphon.

 

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1. Respect your roommate’s privacy and personal space. Never borrow without asking, and make sure you take good care of borrowed items.

2. Be prepared to compromise. Not everyone has the same ideas about day to day living as you do. You can’t ask your roommate to change himself or herself if you’re not willing to change as well.

3. Clean up after yourself. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a neat freak, but don’t leave dirty dishes around or leave mountains of laundry all over the floor. Try to agree on a minimum standard of cleanliness that you’ll both abide by.

4. Be courteous of your roommate’s sleeping habits. If you are a night owl, keep your noise down and turn the lights down after your roommate goes to bed so you don’t disturb them. If you go to bed early, don’t get exasperated with your roommate for their late hours, but at the same time try to find ways that you can sleep undisturbed. The same thing applies for rising in the morning!

5. Spend time with your roommate. Say hello and goodbye, ask them how their day was, and show interest in his or her life. Getting to know the person you live with helps you understand their perspective, and allows them to understand yours. Try to set a time in which you both can hang out at least once a week. Make dinner together, watch a movie, etc.

6. Stay flexible. Understand what’s going on in your roommate’s life, and accommodate them.

7. Communicate. As in any relationship, living with someone requires a great deal of work. If a problem comes up, it’s better to talk about it right away than to try and ignore it and let it get worse. Follow the 24 hour rule: if your roommate does something that bothers you, either bring it up within 24 hours or drop it! Be sure to address problems before they escalate.

8. Be clear from the beginning. Before you get to Lehigh, think about your quirks and preferences, and make sure you communicate what you need to eliminate problems before they become problems. Your Roommate Agreement is a great time to discuss these expectations.

9. Be open to change and new experiences. Your roommate may be from someplace you’ve never heard of, or have a religion or lifestyle that is completely different from your own. Be open to new ideas and experiences, especially as it relates to what your roommate brings into your life. As the semester progresses, realize things will change for both of you. Be comfortable addressing things that unexpectedly come up, setting new rules, and being flexible to your changing environment.

10. Be careful of who you bring into your room, and how often. You may love having your study group into your room. But your roommate may not. Be mindful of how often you bring people over.

Meet Deanna Shepherd, Former Upper Cents Resident

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Meet Deanna Shepherd, a rising sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from Phillipsburg, NJ. Deanna is a former resident of Emery House and will be a Gryphon in M&M!

Getting accepted to Lehigh was one of the happiest days of my life! My brother, who is two years older than me, also goes to Lehigh and until then I was living out my dreams through him. During his freshman year he resided in Dravo, which is one of the biggest freshman dorms on campus. I thought everyone had that same experience; living with hundreds of other kids in the same building and walking up that giant hill to get to their dorm. However, when I got my rooming assignment of Emery House I was completely taken back! Suddenly everything I thought I knew about living in a freshman dorm just vanished.

Living in Upper Cents is definitely different than living in a huge building like M&M and Dravo. In my hall there were just over 20 girls and the only other people in the building were 20 boys downstairs. Sure, upperclassmen will still tell you that you have just as many people in Dravo in the other upper cents residences, but in my experience I only went to one other building, McConn, and that was even a pain because you needed to let someone open the door since you didn’t have swipe access. Although this living arrangement didn’t allow me to meet a lot of other freshman, it allowed me to grow closer to the people that did live in my building. My hall was like a little family with everyone sharing clothes, borrowing shoes, and passing around the vacuum that one girl thought to bring. Even if we weren’t all super close friends, we helped each other out. I mean, we were so comfortable with each other that half of the girls just walked around in their underwear around the hall!

It was also nice that the boys were on a completely different floor. You didn’t have to worry about walking to the shower in a towel and running into a guy; and on the rare occasion that a boyfriend was visiting no one made it awkward. Even if you weren’t friends with the people downstairs, they were always friendly! You could’ve never talked to one of them and if you were doing your homework in the lounge they would help you. Of course they pulled a few pranks on the girls upstairs too but it was all harmless, and we usually got them back!

But besides all of these things, the most important is how close you can become to your Gryphon! Without her having to worry about 50 or so other girls on your floor, she can do special things like leave holiday treats outside your door, decorate the hall for every single occasion (even if you didn’t even know it was an important holiday), and be ready to talk and offer guidance at two in the morning if that’s when you had time. Being so close to my gryphon is what made me want to become one myself! Even though she won’t be in my hall next year, I know she will always help me if I ask.

My first year experience would’ve been totally backwards if I didn’t live in upper cents. Sure, I could’ve met more people and done laundry without having to go outside, but then again I wouldn’t be 20 feet from a dining hall! If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved the girls on hall and all the good and the bad that went along with living in Emery and I hope any of the incoming first years that get put n upper cents appreciate it as much as I did.

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Meet Simone Cotton, Former Upper Cents Resident

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Meet Simone Cotton, a rising sophomore who will be a Gryphon in Upper Cents this year! Simone, a Human Resource Management major & Spanish minor from Lawrenceville, NJ, is a former resident of Congdon House.
Hello Class of 2018! I am more than excited to meet you and help you with your first year experience! Last year, my gryphon Amanda was someone who could answer my questions, give great advice, and talk to me as a friend. Now, as a Gryphon this year in Williams Lower Cents, I want to pass down the guidance to you!
 For my first year, I lived in Congdon Upper Cents! I truly loved my experience living there. I had one roommate Karen who I met while applying to Lehigh and we turned out to be great friends, I was more than lucky to find someone who I’ll be long term friends with. Like any of the Upper Cents dorms, you’ll be one of twenty two students on your floor, forty four in total plus two Gryphons. The two floors became very close and I made friends from many different walks of life. During this first year, the students you live with become your first set of friends, so it’s always a good idea to get to know as many of them as possible.  Coming from a small private high school with 100 graduating seniors, I didn’t have many friends but I knew I wanted to change that coming to Lehigh. I went to different events with my peers and began to branch out meeting new people. Yes it can be scary going out of your comfort zone, but there are so many amazing opportunities that can happen when you take the first step!
Living in Upper Cents during your first year has many benefits. For starters, how many students get to live right across from Rathbone dining hall? This will come in handy during snow days and when you’re in a rush. I seriously love Rathbone’s food, especially the morning omelets made by Anthony. It’s always a good idea to make friends with those who work in the dining halls, learn their names- they are people too and you never know how they can help you out in the future because you simply say hello to them each day. Another upside to living in Upper Cents is being connected to another residence hall, which means more friends! Both of the centennials are close to the gym, so there’s no excuse to skip a workout (plus it will give you more energy for the day!)
However with every set of pros that Upper Cents gave me, there were some things I did not like. Once at the bottom of the mountain near Fairchild- Martindale Library and the bookstore, thinking of walking back up to the Cents made me wish for a car on campus. To get around this problem, I took the bus uphill to Drown Hall and walked the rest of the way, five minutes on a flat sidewalk. I also did not like living in the farthest building on campus, Congdon/ Emery, but once I got inside I loved talking to whoever was in the lounge playing ping pong or watching a movie.
Overall, I had an amazing first year experience! I ran for a class office position, hosted as an MC for an event, joined new clubs I never thought I would have liked. This year as well as being a Gryphon I am Director of Broadway for University Productions- Arts & Excursions as well as a Camp Hawk Counselor! By going out of my comfort zone during my first year, I was able to accomplish many of my goals and create paths for my future at Lehigh! Make the most of living in Upper Cents, you’ll only get this chance once!

Living in Upper Cents

The Centennial I complex, also known as Upper Cents, is comprised of six buildings located directly across from the Rathbone Dining Hall.  Congdon, Emery, Leavitt, McConn, Smiley and Thornburg each house 44 students, with 22 students on each floor.  The buildings are co-ed, but the floors are single-gender.  There is a Gryphon on each floor, and one Head Gryphon for the area who lives in McConn. In each room, each student is provided with a desk with desktop bookshelf, desk chair, bed, dresser, medicine cabinet with mirror, and a closet.

 

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There is one large bathroom on each hall. Additionally, each building has a lobby and lounge, which are great areas to meet new people. Each lounge has a TV and ping pong table, where people can go to hang out and do homework.

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Finally, on the ground level of each Upper Cents building, there is a full kitchen available for use by residents.

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Upper Cents is a short walk from Taylor Gym and Rauch business center.

Storage Ideas

Sharing a dorm room with another student can be tight, so here are a few tips for how you can maximize your limited room space!

-Loft your bed to free up additional space in your room! All lofting tools and supplies must be supplied and constructed by the resident, but the bed loft can be assembled in the dorm room. Dorm lofting kits can be purchased online or at home goods stores. More information about specifications and policies that you must follow if you choose to loft your bed can be found here http://www.lehigh.edu/~inrsd/both/loft.html.

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-Use bed risers! Risers will give your bed extra height, so you will be able to store additional storage boxes underneath. Check out bedrisers here! http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/search/search.jsp?view=grid&_dyncharset=UTF-8&Keyword=bed%20risers

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-Use command hooks on your closet door and wall to hang extra purses, hats, and towels! Command hooks are very easy to install and will help keep you organized. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/search/search.jsp?view=grid&_dyncharset=UTF-8&Keyword=command%20hooks

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-Store out of season clothes and miscellaneous items in under bed storage boxes! You will have ample room underneath your bed, and storage boxes are a great way to keep your things organized and out of the way! Stackable boxes are also a great option for under the bed storage.

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-Use hanging shoe racks and jewelry organizers! Although you are not allowed to have over the door hangers, you can hang a shoe rack or jewelry organizer in your closet. This will keep your floor from becoming cluttered with shoes.

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Meet Isabel Buenaga, Former M&M Resident

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.22.41 AMIsabel Buenaga, a former resident of floor A3 in M&M, is a Global Studies Major/Entrepreneurship Minor from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is involved in Student Senate and Tour Guiding. Read more about Isabel’s first year experience below!

Freshman year is probably the best experience one will have. I had no idea what to expect once I arrived to Lehigh the first day, but I came to realize that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. One of the best ways to meet new people and get out of your comfort shell is attending the Club Expo at the beginning of the year. Here all the clubs and organizations have a table offering information. I suggest joining everything that you think might interest and you can narrow down afterwards. Being involved on Lehigh’s campus from Student Senate to Tour Guiding has been one of the best decision’s I have made at Lehigh.

Another great part about Lehigh is getting to live in the freshmen dorms. Dorm-life might not be the most luxurious but it definitely as its up-sides. The fact that all your neighbors are also freshmen helps one create irreplaceable bonds. I lived in M&M my freshmen year and I made some of my best friends here.

Every dorm has their own benefits; I loved M&M’s location, because you just had to walk down to classes and it proximity to the library. I also loved the fact that it was the largest dorm and you where always meeting new people. In the end, no matter where you live, freshmen year will be unforgettable.