Residents of Rivers Hall: It is “not that bad”

Audrey Johnson News Editor [email protected]

Rivers Hall, the eight story building located on Pine Street, competes with newer halls Mattielou and Olive to satisfy residents. The decades older building houses 429 beds for freshmen and upperclassmen.

“It’s not that bad actually. I think the rooms are a little bit small, but I like them better than Hawthorne’s,” said Rivers resident Jalen Rice. “The temperature. [Rivers] is perfect, Hawthorne is too cold.”

To compete with the other residence halls on campus, Rivers underwent updates this summer.

“The entire building just got new furniture which is nice. It looks really good,” said Rivers resident Josh Corbin. “I haven’t really used it much because whenever I study or hang out I do it places other than Rivers…I generally do better studying places I don’t sleep so I usually study at the library. It’s kinda depressing also to study in Rivers because everything looks the same.”

According to the Housing and Residence Life website, a room in Rivers hall costs between $1890 and $2850 per semester.

“As far as my floor, it’s a lot better than I expected it to be because going in a lot of people told me that Rivers as a whole wasn’t gonna be that great to live in, but I have enjoyed my experience there,” Corbin said. “It is cheaper, and that’s why I went there. I mean, I still think it’s too expensive but for what you’re paying you still get a pretty good deal.”

The building contains a communal kitchen, laundry and ice machines, and a community TV lounge. However, residents on any floor must throw away their garbage in the dumpsters outside; the building has no trash chutes.

“How the dorm looks isn’t exactly how UNA looks. Obviously it impacts my experience; I think there’s things that could be changed,” Corbin said. “I would improve the elevators and make sure they’re always working. There’s a bunch of scratches everywhere all over the metal, inside the elevator it’s all scratched up.”

Problems with WiFi connectivity annoyed students at the beginning of Sept.

“They had to restart the whole internet here,” Rice said.

In its past, River hall has had different problems than the WiFi disconnecting. The air conditioner in Rice and Rivers broke in the summer of 1969. Resident advisors manually opened the building’s windows with a special key to keep air flowing throughout the buildings. While open windows solved the air circulation problem, it presented a new problem.

“[Residents] could climb out the window, walk across the roof of the cafeteria and enter the other building,” said former Head Resident Advisor Dr. Charles Inman. “At that time, men and women were not allowed to be in the other dormitory at all at any hour.”

The head of housing decided to prevent any commingling between the men and women, Inman and another head counselor, Butch Stanfield, would spend the night on the roof.

“The girls took it as an opportunity to stand in the windows to yell for the guys to come on over. ‘Let’s party!’ So butch and I got out on the roof,” Inman said. “The guys didn’t like the fact that we were on the roof so they began to throw empty beer cans, of course you weren’t allowed to have beer in the dorm but it somehow amazingly appeared, and we had to spend the night under the air intake things with beer cans raining off of it.”

After that night, Inman and Stanfield approached the head of housing.

“At the end of the night when we went back inside Butch told the head resident that we’re not going to spend another night on the roof even if it meant there wasn’t any protection for the women in the other hall,” Inman said.