Surfsite Exposed: Inside SMCC’s “Dirtiest Dorm”

By Erik Squire
Education Major

The Beacon has covered outstanding clubs and upstanding students, but we thought it was high time we took a look inside one of SMCC’s very own dorms, dubbed “Dirty Surfsite.”
My co-interviewer, Lorelei Hipkins, and I made our way up to Surfsite to nab an interview with one of the dormitory’s residents. I knew I had the perfect interviewee when I saw a car speedily rumbling past me into Surfsite parking lot. The student had his hood held down by two jerry-rigged safety pins. The student’s name was Dylan (he didn’t give his last name).
While we walked into Surfsite with Dylan, he introduced us to a few of his friends, Cory and Wild Bill (as he called himself). Dylan then proceeded to tell us a little about life in the dorm:
“It’s pretty dirty, no one cleans really. The pool table is out of use, things get taken away, these couches are junk; it kind of sucks, actually.”
The average GPA of Surfsite residents back in 2011 was a 1.98. With that in mind, we asked what they believed was the major cause for the low GPA.
“It’s definitely a smaller space,” said Dylan.
“There are no ladies, too,” Wild Bill added.
“We need to pull our heads out of our butts and get our grades up,” Cory also pointed out.
The Beacon then asked if they thought the community life was different due to it being an all-male dorm.
“Yeah, there’s no tension between people. Everybody loves each other,” Wild Bill proclaimed.
“But there are girls that are regulars here,” Dylan pointed out.
Mid interview, a couple of guys came into the dorm yelling nonsensical things. They then joined in on the interview.
“In here, we are kind of isolated, and we have our own counter culture going on,” stated one of the group members. “We do know that all the folks at Spring Point (Residence Hall) wish like hell they were here with us, ‘cause we’re super chill.”
“Don’t you have to be ethnic to be counter culture?” someone else asked sardonically.
We then asked what one of the worst things to happen in Surfsite was.
“Losing all our shit was one of the worst things that’s happened here,” said Dylan.
“People from Spring Point took our pool table from us,” added in another guy.
A couple others from the group joined in on the question, stating, “Sometimes there’re 5-6 people wasted outside yelling, or people slamming on other people’s doors drunk.” Then another resident shared, “Some guy split his head open and he thought he was going to die. He fell down the stairs. I’ve never seen so much blood in my life.”
The next question on our list was how many cigarettes the guys smoked in a day.
“I literally just came down here looking for a cigarette,” stated one of the guys. Then another exclaimed, “I had nine cigarettes yesterday!” Yet another explained, “Everybody smoke cigarettes here. It’s a great way to meet people.”
I then asked Dylan what a typical day looked like for him, to which he responded: “I get up at 9, do some homework if I have any, smokes a few cigarettes, and go to class. It’s pretty boring actually, if you just stay here and don’t go out, but I mean there’s always things to do.” Then another resident added, “Occasionally we improvise some games. Like ghetto hockey.”
When asked what they would like to see improved in their dorm, they readily replied:
“They should redo the bathrooms,” expressed Dylan, and almost simultaneously two others chimed in: “Yeah!” and “Yeah, it’s pretty gross.”
“Also,” one of the guys stated, “some rooms have black mold in them.” This sentiment was met by a chorus of people exclaiming “Yeah!” Dylan went on to say, “When I got my orientation, and they were giving us the tour, they didn’t show us in here.” Lastly, the residents expressed discontent with not being able to have toasters or plate warmers.
Despite the struggles that a lot of the dorm residents face, they all explained that they work hard; however, their first semester is always a little rough. They had to learn new skills like washing dishes and laundry (for some of them). On top of inexperience, everybody was pretty broke; one guy had $10 in his bank, and another had 30 cents. Though they realized that there were opportunities to make money on campus, most of them didn’t feel the urge to pursue the work. As one of them casually stated, “All I need is a place to eat, sleep, and shower.”
Surfsite, though perhaps not the best dormitory in the universe, at the very least offers all three of these accommodations.


3 thoughts on “Surfsite Exposed: Inside SMCC’s “Dirtiest Dorm””

  1. I remember Surfsite very fondly. I moved back in 2012, the dorms were not the worst thing on the face of the earth. I really hope the college takes a look at what it is offering its students and tries to fix the problems that it needs to.

  2. After reading this, I don’t feel at ease about my son living in this dorm in a few weeks. Has anything been done to improve the living conditions?

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