I’ve done my fair share of crying in dorm rooms, possibly while Coldplay’s “Fix You” plays in the background, typically over J-school stress. But, this time tears started to trickle down my face as I stared at the bare, blue walls with their signature white splotches of repair paint, known lovingly as “clouds” to former residents (including me) of Jones 205. With a quick “ok” or two on my room inventory list, my supervisor, Adam, asked for my keys and ushered me out of my room for one last goodbye. So, maybe this seems a tad melodramatic for a 57-year-old residence hall upon its closing for demolition. But the residence at 502 Kentucky Blvd. was more than just my place of work (and living) as a RA for the past year and a half. It’s been my “place,” my community, my home.
Honestly, I didn’t ever think I would become so attached to the old tower known for its all-women, 90 percent Greek Life population. I was coming into the ResLife pool as a non-Greek (never anti-Greek!) journalism major from a predominantly male floor (with no Greek woman) in Schurz and a background of only living with boys (my three brothers). I was hoping to be fished out for a job as a Journalism FIG Peer Advisor, but I got the news that I was the 5th floor PA for the Textile & Apparel Management FIG. I wasn’t upset (I mean, I posted an excited status about it). But, more than anything, I was interested in how I would fit in a community I had no experience with teaching a class that was about my minor that I hadn’t even declared at that point.
Before I even laid eyes on the lovely ladies I would spend my first year in Jones with, I knew I would be in good care with the Hall Coordinator of the building. Adam Callahan was the instructor of my candidate class for ResLife (i.e. the pre-interview) and I knew from the get-go that he was the kind of supervisor for me. He became more than just a supervisor as we bonded over feminism, Dobbs omelets and “Blank Space” being my theme song. He helped push me to help myself, as well as sing Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin” at the top of his lungs while we sorted paperwork. He has seen me cry and dealt with me when I laughed at his expense (especially when we shot a ball from his cow toy at him). I don’t think my experience in Jones would be as amazing as it was if it weren’t for him.
A great director needs a star-studded cast, and the last two staffs of Jones have been just that. The last all-female staff gave Jones a run for its money. We didn’t lack personality, that’s for sure. We knew each other almost too well at times and worked as a team off of our pure chemistry and knowledge of each other’s strengths. We were a ResLife force to be reckoned with, but we always knew how to have a good time. If anything, we were laughing and singing (Usually Beyoncé, like the badass women that we are) as we did our jobs. Staff meetings usually turned into giggling and Adam tuning our “girl talk” out. These women helped show me what strong women can be. Jones Love was and continues to be real for my lady partners-in-crime. Here’s to you Bailey, Rebecca, Emily (and then Tracy), Zasmine, Kirsten, Alex and Tarae.
I came in this year as the only old Jones staff member, taking the role as “Jones Mom” of sorts to the 11 other members of my staff, with seven of our total 12 being completely new to ResLife. The proved from our first couple of team on-calls that they were as ready as they could be for our closing building shenanigans that our newly coed resident populous got into. Shoutout to Tanner for being my other half for weird on-calls with lots of Vomit Comet “snow” even though I scared you. We were known throughout training for dancing to “Black Widow” on a JamBox speaker as we walked from building to building, which is nearly perfect for me. I got to work with my BESTAROO, Ryan, as well as my former resident, Autumn, to rule the best community known as Two-Thirds. I got to grow friendships with lovely ResLife ladies from Hatch (that’s Sarah and Layla), which was grand. It wasn’t the same sisterhood as before, but we we were a crazy, dysfunctional family, and we were there for each other. Much love to my Jones babies: Autumn, Ryan, Caiti, Martha, Tanner, Eva, #Joof, Garrett, Sarah, Layla and Josh.
Jones has taught me a lot through the residents I have gotten to work with. My first year disappointed me with some of the stereotypical catty behavior that I was warned about. Some women on my floor were textbook examples of privileged white women that were completely ignorant to their privileges, which frustrated me to the point of tears a couple times. But, I had ladies who were lovely, kind and even agreeable with me when I explained slut shaming and asking them to put on a jacket when going out on a cold night. Those are the ones I keep in touch with and miss. Plus, the throw away attitude of the privileged allowed me to obtain a Mac accessory or two and some Ray Bans (trash and lost/found is always fair game). My second year brought me residents and a community that I loved. My FIGlets, though some of them were disrespectful and showed privilege problems at times, were great and I grew close with many of them. The men and women of my community all became fast friends and leaders in the hall. I would talk about life with the ladies, play Super Smash Bros. with the guys, talk hockey and give advice to anybody who asked. There were problem residents and general shenanigans throughout the building that the Dobbs area knows well, and I had to scare my residents out of the lounge a couple times, but they are a group that I will definitely miss.
I am so lucky to have been exposed to the deep historical ties that Jones has and I am happy to be apart of it. There are few that love the building and the Jones staff history like I do, and I have had the great honor to work with them. But, it is history and with the wake of 2015, Jones’ reign has ended. I am sad, but happy I got to be a part of it. I get to longingly look at the construction from my new digs in Center, teasing me with memories on the 2nd and 5th floors. Thank you Jones for being flawed and weird and crazy and perfect all the same. Jones Love forever.