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20 Things NOT Allowed In KSU Dorms (And What to Bring Instead)

For those new freshmen coming to Kansas State University in the fall-welcome! College is an exciting opportunity, offering the chance to experience independence, responsibility, and a first taste of adulthood. Here at KSU, you couldn’t ask for a better environment to traverse all three in. For a lot of you, your journey at K-State will begin in the dorms. I highly endorse dorm life for your freshman year because it forces you to open yourself up to the chance of meeting new people and starting the next chapter of your life fresh. And with three well kept on campus living communities to choose from-Derby, Kramer, or Strong-there’s no way you can go wrong in choosing a place to live. While I can’t tell you what exactly to expect from your first year living on campus, I can ease the transition a bit by recommending what not to bring to the dorms and what to bring instead. Keep reading if you want full disclosure for twenty things that are not allowed in the KSU dorms and their alternatives!

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is not allowed in the dorms for students under the age of 21. Even at the age of 21, only grocery store beer can be consumed in the dorms. It is a stupid decision that will only end in a frustrated RA, a strike on your record, and further punishment. If you want something other than water to drink in the dorms then buy your seltzer water or soda to help ease your carbonation craving.

2. Drugs

Like alcohol, drugs are not allowed in the dorms. This includes bringing the equipment needed to do them, ie bongs, needles, etc. Since you can’t do drugs in the dorms, you should use this time to quit this expensive and unhealthy habit. In order to do this buy candy (insert old lady voice from Spongebob: “Chocolate”), especially gum if you are trying to avoid smoking.

3. Plug-Ins instead of candles.

In order to avoid setting your room and the dorm at large on fire, candles with exposed wicks are not allowed in dorms. Now you may be thinking, “How do I keep my room smelling good, then?” The answer, my friends, are plug ins. Not only do you have a wide range of scents to choose from, but they are perfectly safe and perfectly powerful enough to keep your whole room smelling fresh. You could also buy a candle warmer. They’re great and melt the wax in your candles (you can then just take the wick out) so that you will still be able to bring your beloved candle with you without breaking the rules.

4. Playing with sports equipment outside instead of inside.

I didn’t know you couldn’t play sports in the dorms until I was actually living inside the dorms. I learned this after a couple of my floormates got scolded after having admitted to playing golf in the hallways. While that didn’t necessarily stop me from participating in the banned behavior (I may have penny boarded in the halls once or twice), it doesn’t mean you have to repeat this behavior. Avoid getting written up by joining recreation teams on campus, or by taking a soccer ball with you to college and recruiting some friends to go and play with. However you do it, just make sure to go outside to play sports. It’s all fun and games until someone breaks part of the lobby clock off by throwing a football at it.

5. Christmas lights instead of lava lamps.

Believe it or not, lava lamps are not permitted in the dorms since they can be a potential fire hazard. But that’s okay because Christmas lights are the perfect swap. Not only are they less expensive, but they can be strung up anywhere around the room and you can hang as many as you need. Fa la la la la la lighting.


6. Futons and folding chairs instead of household furniture.

For those of you who are imagining your college dorm room as a penthouse with an incredible room and amazing square footage: STOP. At K-State, the dorm rooms are definitely an adequate size but not for you to move all your bedroom furniture from home with you. Remember, your dorm comes with a mattress, bed frame, desk, chair, closet, trash can, and recycling bin. Depending on what complex you end up in, it may even have a dresser in it too. (Kramer complex does not offer its boarders dressers, instead gifting a medicine cabinet). All this being said, don’t bring lots of big bulky furniture. Communicating with your roommate on what furniture you BOTH want in the room is crucial. That being said, don’t stop yourself from buying a bean bag chair or a nice, comfy foldable chair.

7. Command strips or thumb tacks instead of nails.

While I highly recommend decorating your dorm room to your taste, you have to do it properly. That means having the proper equipment to hang your decorations on the walls. And nails, ladies and gents, are not the solution. They are not allowed to be used in the dorms because the room does not technically belong to you, it’s the university’s. The rooms are rented out yearly to different people so the walls can’t be damaged by previous tenant’s mucking up the walls with nail holes. Bring Command strips to hang up your Finnick Odair posters and painted canvases. They are easy to use and leave a nicer finish than other hanging equipment.

8. Only one microwave and one refrigerator instead of turning your dorm room into a Best Buy store.

Another thing you need to talk with your roommate about: who’s bringing the fridge and who’s bringing the microwave? You only need one of each, people.


9. A bag of weight and yoga mat instead of large exercise equipment.

Don’t bring your home gym to college. As a KSU student, part of your tuition goes to the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex and you get an automatic gym membership for being enrolled. Also, your dorm will come with some type of workout room (usually in the basement) if you don’t feel like walking to the Rec. If you are shy about working out, don’t be! The Rec is a great place to meet like-minded people fitness people (all skill types congregate there), and make new friends. Feel free to bring a few weights, yoga mat, etc., that don’t exceed twenty pounds and maybe even your bike to maneuver around campus-but an elliptical will not fit in your room.

10. Plastic plates, bowls and cutlery instead of silver or glass dishware.

Another headcannon: no dorm rooms, not even suites, come with kitchen units. That is what is called an apartment. So you don’t need a toaster, pots, pans, spatulas, cutting knives, mixing bowls, etc. Just bring plastic plates, cups, and a few forks, spoons, and knives.


11. Pepper spray instead of any lethal weaponry. (Obviously.)

Weapons are not allowed in the dorms so again: DON’T BRING THEM. If you are at all concerned about safety on campus, talking to your dorm staff (RAs, RLCs) and the housing department is much more advantageous than arming yourself for the walk to biology every other day. But if you still need some reassurance, buy a small can of pepper spray and attach it to your keys.

12. Plastic cups instead of glass or plastic cups.

We are college kids. We break things…Sometimes even our trash cans after incidents with ladders leaning on walls…Anyway… All this being said, there’s no need to bring glassware of any kind unless it’s a mirror of some kind. Besides, plastic is cheaper than glass. #collegeisexpensivesenough.

13. Stuffed animals or pictures of your furry friend from home instead of real pets.

At K-State there seems to be more of an allowance for pets than other universities. I knew a hamster named Romeo, a hedgehog named Trevor, and a chinchilla named Loki who have lived in the same dorms I have. Contact the Resident Life Coordinator of your dorm to see what pets are allowed in the dorms and if you should start making preparations for your furry friend. But there are no rules against bringing stuffed animals who require no feeding, bathing, and don’t smell. You don’t even have to check with your roommate if all you are bringing is a Scooby-Doo stuffed animal.

14. Throw blankets instead of space heaters.

Every KSU dorm comes with a heating/air conditioning unit so it is not necessary to bring a space heater to warm up during our Kansas winters. It’s never a bad idea to bring extra blankets, though, until you know what you want to keep in your dorm, and then take the surplus home one weekend. Winter is coming, friends.

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15. Bike locks instead of keeping your bike in your room.

Bikes are not kept in dorm rooms. There would never be enough room! It would be a waste of space and an inconvenience in general. If you plan on bringing a bike to college with you then make sure to bring a bike lock so you can secure it outside worry free.


16. Hang an American flag in your room to show your patriotic pride instead of lighting off fireworks.

Like alcohol and drugs, DON’T BRING FIREWORKS INTO THE DORMS. We understand the only reason you could possibly want to bring fireworks would be to celebrate your patriotism, so hang an American flag in your room instead for cool decor.


17. Fans instead of air conditioners.

As I have mentioned before, every dorm comes with a heating/air conditioning unit, but bringing a fan is never a bad plan. I suggest the smaller ones you can keep by your bed.

18. Power strip instead of long extension cords.

Extension cords are a waste of money in the dorms. Firstly, your dorm isn’t big enough to warrant buying a bunch of 10-20 foot cords. Secondly, you don’t want your room to have a bunch of cords laid down on the floor where you are bound to trip and severely injure yourself on them. Instead of extension cords, get a power strip that has at least six outlets. I made it through my first year just fine with my power strip, and highly recommend it as a must buy on your collegiate shopping list.

19. Extra curtains instead of the blinds provided in the dorms.

Your dorm room should automatically come with blinds (if it doesn’t talk to your RA ASAP), but sometimes those just aren’t enough in the battle against the dawn. Buy curtains if you are concerned that blinds won’t keep out that pesky morning light.

20. An air mattress instead of a regular ones for when your friend comes to visit.

In the dorms, there is a rule which states the amount of guests allowed in a dorm room at any one time has to match the amount of beds. (A guest/occupant per bed, no sharing).) This being said, if you plan on having your hometown best friend spend the weekend or want to show off the KSU campus to a little sibling it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in an air mattress. They are easily storable and can come in handy for many situations during and after college. Not a bad investment.  For specific rules about what items are and are not allowed in the dorms, read through your housing contract (something you should do anyway). If you have any questions, feel free to contact the K-State Housing Department for specifics. Just don’t get nervous when reading this list; the dorms are a spectacularly fun place to live, especially freshman year, and the experience of living there makes up plenty for those things that are not allowed in the dorms.
What are some other things not allowed in the KSU dorms? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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Adrianna Gordey

Adrianna is a student at Kansas State University majoring in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing and minoring in Leadership Studies. She likes reading, apple pie, Sebastian Stan, and watching Disney movies.

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