Davis Center

It started out as a joke. I spent so much time in the Davis Center already, studying for various exams, why not live there? It couldn’t be that hard. The Davis Center provides the main essentials; food, shelter and showers. Unfortunately, I happened to make the joke with the wrong person and ended up doing just that … making my home in the brand new student center for the next three days. The Davis Center is billed as a haven for students and as being sustainable to all aspects of student life and I was determined to find out just how livable it was.After fielding questions from my friends about why I had to decided to go through with this (why not!?) and saying my goodbyes, I set out on my journey, packed what I deemed the bare essentials for three days, dragged my pillows and backpacks up the hill and moved into our glorious new student center and my new home. Leaving the building only for classes and work-study, I was determined to sleep, eat and spend all my free time in the Davis Center.Day 1: Having comfortably arranged my sleeping quarters (the corner of a cubicle in The Cynic office) and decorating it with items that made it feel more like home, I set off to take full advantage of everything the Davis Center had to offer. First things first though, homework. I set up my computer in the corner of the second floor seating area and got to work. At first I thought it would be easy to get work done – what else would there be to do? It wasn’t long however, until I realized that counting the number of people wearing red was much more interesting than researching French resistance to Americanization. The Davis Center is a great place to people watch. It truly is the hub of student activity with massive hordes of students moving through it at any given time. Dinner, as usual, consisted of New World and I tried to convince my friends to come visit me to quell the boredom. Eventually it got later, the room cleared out and I retired to my after midnight home. Being in the Davis Center that late at night was creepy and lonely, so I forced two of my friends to come over and keep me company, making them stay until I felt like going to sleep in my “bed” (consisting of a mattress pad, a sleeping bag and a comforter). Sleeping, however, was harder than I expected considering that most of the lights in the Davis Center are controlled by motion sensors in keeping with the buildings environmentally friendly mission, and it turned into a waiting game of when they would finally shut off.Day 2: After a terrible night’s sleep and being woken up abruptly by construction workers and various janitors that had set off the motion sensor lights in the building, it was time to get ready for class. Many people have wondered about the Davis Center showers and I was admittedly pretty excited to find out about them. In keeping with its advocacy of a green lifestyle, there are showers in the Davis Center to promote alternative forms of transportation to and from campus. I only got a few strange looks as I walked through the Olin Atrium with towel and shampoo in hand towards the gender-neutral bathrooms. I wasn’t too surprised to discover that the showers were a lot nicer than the ones in my dorm. Given that I usually reside in Converse Hall, it was actually nice to be able to shower in something made after the 1900s. Feeling refreshed and invigorated it was time to get ready. In keeping with my pledge to use the Davis Center to its full extent, I opted to dry my hair with the high powered, energy efficient hand dryers provided in the bathroom. This proved to not be very successful and I eventually lugged my blow dryer and hair straightener (the bare essentials) into the bathroom. After classes, I returned to the Davis Center for lunch. Looking for a change of pace from my two New World meals a day, I decided to try out the Marketplace. Depending solely on food from the Davis Center gave me the opportunity to truly see what food the student center has to offer while also making a sizeable dent in the amount of meal points I had left. Being that it was Halloween, the Davis Center was much more populated than it had been before, with a variety of University sponsored events and I decided to move my studying and hanging out to the first floor. The first floor was decidedly more spirited than the upper floors and was filled with people dressed up in various costumes (I’m almost positive I spotted a wookie) playing pool and foosball and watching “South Park” on the central TV screen. After being kicked out at midnight, I retired to my corner for my last night at the student center and was lulled to sleep by the thumping bass of WRUV next door.Day 3: Despite the fact that I slept one floor below the Marketplace, I was still unable to wake up early enough to get breakfast. Working late into the night before, and systematically being woken up almost every few hours by noise outside or custodial workers (who must have been curious at the sight of the seemingly homeless girl sleeping on the floor) coming in the room to vacuum around me, I woke up with just barely enough time to get ready for class. I opted for the second floor shower this time, to compare with the first floor shower of the day before. Since this was later in the day, I got a few more odd stares as I walked up the stairs and through the Marketplace with my towel, shampoo and bathrobe. The second shower, though nicer than the one in my normal residence hall, wasn’t up to par with the first floor shower and left something to be desired. I rushed to get ready for class and was awkwardly walked in on while brushing my teeth, which I didn’t bother to explain. After class and settling in to the fourth floor lounge, I anxiously counted the hours until my moment of sweet freedom when I could move back into my room. Not that living in the Davis Center was terrible, but after searching every floor and every room and taking full advantage of the student center, I had felt that the Davis Center had lost its feeling of adventure and I was longing for a room where I could control the lights at nighttime. After a few hours of working (i.e. games of foosball) and having a final Davis Center lunch with my friends, it was time to move out. I deconstructed my makeshift living quarters, packed up my belongings and said goodbye to the building I had called my home. If there is one thing I learned from this experience it’s that the Davis Center is best enjoyed in small doses. Although my experiment was ultimately a success, and it had proved itself to be completely sustainable to student life (more or less), I wouldn’t recommend living there. Feeling a little bittersweet (mostly sweet) about the end of my adventure in Davis Center life, I dragged all my belongings back to Converse, eager to tell my friends about how much nicer the showers in the Davis Center were compared to ours.