Move-in time is just around the corner, and you’re storming Bed, Bath & Beyond for the best deals on dorm furnishings and decor. Before you start purchasing all that’s going into your new home-away-from-home, keep in mind the rules for what is and is not allowed in the Kent State dorm rooms.
OK, OK- so maybe some of these items are technically allowed, but they really might as well not be for the inconveniences they cause…The following is a list of twenty items either not allowed in your dorm, or a total waste of space.
1. A second mini-fridge or microwave.
Check the Kent State website under Campus Life and Housing to see if your residence hall already provides a mini-fridge and microwave. Most of them do, except for Leebrick, the single rooms. Students are not allowed to have a second one of these items. You’re only planning on living here for the next nine months, so don’t worry about shopping for extra appliances.
They are not, I repeat NOT allowed. There have been several reports across the country of hoverboards catching fire either in use or while charging. This is a new rule put in place last year after the publicity of these reports. Rather than risking your own safety and that of others, go for the classic skateboard or adorable pennyboard, the popular substitutes of the hoverboard.
3. Alarm clock.
Ok, if you really want to bring an alarm clock you can. But do you really need an alarm clock? I mean, these probably shouldn’t be allowed unless it’s 1988… According to a poll taken by the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone. Smartphones are already equipped with a clock application that allows the user to set a timer, a stopwatch, and an alarm clock with choices of alarm sounds. Use your phone as an alarm clock (keep it charged) and you can avoid having to pack an alarm clock.
4. Cookware and dishes.
Big waste. Of course, you are allowed to have these items and some people really do get great use out of them. I went my entire freshman year without using a single dish of my own. You’re more likely to be eating outside of your dorm, anyway. Instead, purchase a pack of plasticware from Rosie’s, or commandeer some plastic utensils from the dining halls and restaurants.
5. Ironing board with an actual iron.
It’s rare that anyone irons clothes these days. What’s the point? They’re just going to be wrinkled again by the end of the day! Instead of worrying about an iron and lugging that board around, take advantage of your full closet space and hang your more delicate, easily wrinkled clothes. Save the drawers for your jeans and sweaters. If you have some pieces that still need the handy work on an iron, buy some wrinkle release spray!
6. Nails for hanging.
Holes in the walls are a big no-no. If there are any holes in your wall after you’ve left for the summer, your bursar account will be charged a pretty high fee. There are plenty of other substitutes. Recommended on the Kent State housing website in place of nails are sticky tack and 3M Hooks (e.g. Command Strips). In addition, every room is supplied with one desk per person, and this desk has a built-in bulletin board that’s perfect to punch holes in (with push pins, of course).
7. Any pet that is not a fish.
Your RA better be finding Nemo instead of Fido. This is a pretty commonsense rule for all colleges. No hamsters. No Guinea pigs. No snakes. No turtles. No matter the size of the animal, a simple little goldfish is your best bet. Are you an animal lover who needs your daily dose of mammal time? You can still get it! Locals love to walk their pets around campus in the spring and fall, plus the residence halls line up events that include pets. Think stress-relieving puppies.
8. Flame candles or incense.
No fire is allowed. (Go figure). Lit candles that go unwatched are a common cause for house fires. If you really want your room to smell nice, or maybe your roommate’s leftovers in the fridge have spoiled, you can use aerosol air freshener, plug-in scent boosters, or reed diffuser. Maybe you’re just into that ambiance feeling of a candle’s flame. Pick up a couple battery-operated flameless candles.
9. Flexible multi-armed floor lamps.
These, too, are a fire hazard because of how often they overheat. Some person might carelessly hang something over it, say a coat or a scarf, and it could easily catch fire. If you’re looking for an extra light, each desk is already equipped with a fluorescent light. If you’re looking for style, skip using the provided light and buy a desk lamp. They’re sold in many colors, and some stores sell lamps in unusual shapes such as the Eiffel Tower.
10. Lava lamps.
Totally not groovy, right? Lava lamps, like floor lamps, overheat very easily. Not to mention, they are glass and nobody wants to clean up that spill. If what you want are pretty colors, invest in some dance party items. For example, the multi-colored, rotating disco ball, a color-changing night light, or a lit-up salt crystal.
11. Space heaters.
Do you see a pattern yet? Space heaters are the cause of 79% of fatal home-heating fires. The devices are easy to overheat and despite the whirring fan noise, easy to forget one is on. Most dorms at Kent State have their own adjustable thermostats; so don’t think you’ll have to live in the cold this winter. You could also try wearing six sweaters at once, like Joey.
12. Toasters and toaster ovens.
It’s time to switch out that early morning, toasted English muffin for a nice bagel at Einstein’s, because there is no way you’re bringing a toaster to Kent dorms. Not only is it another common fire hazard, but there is nowhere to put it. The microwave should be sufficient for anything you need to heat up. If you’re really craving that hard, honey-brown crunch, go to Eastway and use the toaster by the breakfast bar.
13. Hot plates.
If you want to keep your cup of coffee warm while you type that ten-page paper due tomorrow morning, a hot plate would be the perfect device. However, these are not allowed in the dorms because of, wait for it, another fire hazard! So instead, just put your coffee or tea in the microwave for about 20 seconds; that should be hot enough.
14. Weapons, real and fake.
Your pocket knife may come in handy when opening packages or peeling a piece of fruit, but its other, more felonious use is not one Kent takes a liking to. For obvious reasons, leave your pellet gun at home too. The Kent State black squirrel is like a rare Pokemon that you’re not allowed to catch or shoot. Leave the weapons, both real and fake, at home, and instead, keep the spitball gun and make your slingshot out of paper clips and rubber bands.
15. Rubber or foam-backed rugs.
This is according to the Kent State website, but there are no specifications as to why this type of rug is not allowed. Instead, shop for a rug backed by carpet or thread.
16. Liquid or powder laundry detergent.
…Okay, this is allowed, but totally unnecessary and easy to spill. Who has the time to measure out laundry detergent when you have your next class in, oh look at the time, twenty minutes! How much better, quicker, and easier it would be to pop in a Tide Pod, turn the machine on and go. No measuring or spilling to worry about. Invest in detergent pods and leave the need to measure for your chemistry class.
17. A vacuum (or sweeper, depending on which part of Ohio you are from).
Although a vacuum is allowed, it is not necessary. Even if you’re a total neat freak who has to keep your living space in pristine condition, the office of your residence hall should have a vacuum cleaner you can borrow. This is far better than buying a handheld device and spending an hour on your hands and knees scrubbing the carpet.
18. Ceiling decorations.
One of the first things your Kent State RA will tell you when he or she goes to check rooms for fire safety, is that you are not allowed to have anything attached to the ceiling. This includes decorative lights, glow-in-the-dark stars, posters, or any type of dangling decorations. Instead, surf Pinterest for some substitute dorm decor ideas or see my previous article, 9 Easy Tips to Decorate your Kent Dorm Room.
19. Your own curtains.
Each dorm room comes supplied with its own set of curtains, either cloth or plastic blinds. Kent’s housing site does not specify whether one should, or should not, bring their own curtains, but it also does not say whether one is allowed to remove the curtains already installed. If you still want that little bit or decoration, refer to the sources provided in the previous paragraph.
Are you looking for a fun way to spend your 21st birthday? Well you’re going to have to leave your party at the bar. Alcohol, and soon all tobacco products, are not allowed on Kent State campus, especially inside dorms. Although your RA will not go into your room while you are not there, unless they are checking for fire and safety hazards, you can still be reported if seen by a hall mate. If you are 21, the only place that allows alcohol on campus is Quaker Steak & Lube, and you must keep it inside the restaurant.
What essentials are you going to bring to your Kent State dorm? Comment below and share this article with friends!
Featured image sources: ibyrdproject1.wordpress.com, youtube.com/kentstatetv
Kathryn Monsewicz is a journalism major at Kent State University. Her goal is to give readers stories they can see, feel, listen to and love. Her focus is in magazine journalism with the ultimate dream of becoming a traveling journalist.