The Carillon investigates the ins and outs of partying in residence
I always see pictures of my friends from other universities at residence parties, and they always look like they’re having the time of their life.
I don’t live in residence, nor do I have any friends in residence here at the University of Regina, so I’ve never gone to one. I’ve often wondered if they’re as much fun as they appear to be.
I stroll up to the doors of the north residence tower on Friday, Oct. 21. All the doors are locked. I see a security guard and wave at him to open the door, but he just points to the south tower. I get in the first set of doors, but the second set is all locked. A man at the security desk walks over to me, and I bullshit a story about how I’m here to visit a friend. He tells me my friend needs to come down and sign me in.
I decide to head to the Carillon office and plan on how I’m going to get in, but just end up watching TV. I look at the clock. It’s midnight, and I still have no clue on how I’m going to get in. As the ending credits to Access 7’s Generally Speaking start rolling, I turn off the TV in the office and decide it’s probably just not going to happen.
But as I’m passing in between the two towers on the way to my car, I hear a commotion of footsteps behind me. Two people run up to the doors of the north tower, but they find the same result as I did earlier that evening. Just then, a group of students inside the building pass by the doors. One of the guys outside starts pounding furiously on the glass door, and someone inside obliges. I race over to the door and catch it just as it closes. I’m in.
I hurry past the security desk into the elevator. “What floor are you going to?” a young man asks the elevator aggregate. Each chimes in with a response. Wait, what floor am I going to? I’d been so focused on getting into residence that I hadn’t even thought about what the hell I would do once I was in.
I need to find a party.
“Anybody know if there’s anything going on tonight?” I ask with as little awkwardness as I can muster.
A gentleman with shoulder-length dreadlocks shrugs his shoulders and says, “We’ll find where the party’s at.” It’s just then that the elevator stops, and the large metal doors open. Muffled music can be heard instantly. I guess this is my floor.
We exit the elevator and are hurried into a cramped dorm room.
“Get in! Cram it!” The girl at the door urges us. It’s hot and smells like a mixture of liquor and sweat. There’s a beer pong game in the kitchen and people dancing with the lights out in the living room. The song from the living room changes and someone yells, “FUCKIN’ LMFAO, BABY!” and scrambles past me to the makeshift dance floor.
Looks like I found my party.
Someone motions to the living-room-turned-dance-floor and comments, “People are getting down and dirty in there … it’s like the Owl on a very small scale”.
“Is this what most res parties are like?” I ask someone next to me who introduces himself as James.
“This is pretty much what you get,” he replies. “I love living here in res,” he adds.
Shortly thereafter, it comes to my attention that the freezer door is open. I move to close it, but notice someone’s wedged his head inside, trying to cool off.
“This is the best idea I’ve had all night,” he tells me. “My hat’s in there cooling off too.”
Despite how easy it was to find a party, I’ve apparently stumbled into res on an unusually slow night.
“This is basically it for parties,” a burly man in a fitted red t-shirt explains to me. “There’s usually two or three; there’s never usually just one.”
There’s a bit of commotion, and someone starts yelling “912 south!” over top of the boisterous noise of the party.
“No, no, no!” retorts a student who introduces himself as Dylan. “That’s my apartment! No one go there!” At this point, Dylan is shirtless and wearing a backpack on his chest. Apparently he bet his shirt on a game of beer pong.
Some people are starting to chant his dorm number, and they’re met with irate replies from Dylan. We are, in fact, getting kicked out and relocating. But to exactly where is a mystery.
Burly Red Shirt turns to me and says, “Looks like it’s time to go, Carillon Man.”
I leave the party with absolutely no clue as to where to go. The elevator filled up quickly, so I follow some people heading down the stairs. Exiting on the ninth floor, I find two liquor-bottle-wielding girls sitting in the hallway directing people away from their room.
“This is 912 north,” one of them says. “You guys need the other building.”
They introduce themselves as Carmen and Sierra, and I ask them the best way to get to the south tower from here.
“You can get there through the tunnel between the two towers, right? I don’t need to go outside and use a key to get in or anything, do I?” I ask.
“Yeah, but you’re still going to have to go past security. You’re going to either need a res card or one of these,” Carmen says and points to a stamp on Sierra’s hand that reads “U of R Residence Overnight Guest”.
“I find the security at the U of R residence way more intense [than the U of S],” says Sierra, who is a student at the University of Saskatchewan. “Anyone can get into residence at the U of S, and you don’t have to sign in guests, but they give tickets out like fuck.”
I grab a pen from my backpack and do my best to imitate the font on Sierra’s stamp. It’s not even remotely close, but after smearing it with my thumb, it becomes an adequate counterfeit.
“You’re going to need a key for the elevator too,” Carmen explains. “You can come with us”.
We take the elevator to the ground floor and then the tunnel to the south tower. Looking to the security desk, I see the guard is momentarily absent. As good as my fake stamp is, I’m happy to avoid any chance of getting kicked out.
Our troop of partygoers enters the elevator and I hit the button for floor nine. It stops on the fourth floor, and a man in a campus security uniform joins the crowded elevator.
Shit. I do my best I-swear-I-don’t-have-open-liquor-on-my-person face. The elevator conversation instantly discontinues as everyone inside tries to act as inconspicuous as possible.
“How’s your night?” Carmen asks the campus security guard to ease discomfort.
“Busy,” he soberly replies. I feel partly responsible for his answer.
The ninth floor arrives, and our group leaves the elevator hurriedly. We’re rushed into another room just down the hall from the elevator.
“Get in quick, or we’re going to get shut down,” the guy at the door says. I quickly see that it’s basically the same people as the north tower party.
“We basically just hopped,” explains an anonymous partygoer. “No one’s really stopping us from doing it, so fuck it.”
Amid the amorous dancing in the kitchen, someone is drinking an opaque, maroon-coloured substance from a large glass jug. A small, inquisitive crowd has gathered around him as he passes the jug around.
“It’s cranberry juice, sugar, yeast, and then you ferment the shit out of it,” he explains to me. “It tastes like shit, and it’s not very potent.”
He’s right; it tastes like old bread soaked in really bad wine.
“My beer supply is low, so you gotta do what you gotta do,” he says.
This small group explains to me that they live in the north tower.
“Is there a rivalry between the north and south towers?” I ask the group of north tower residents.
“The south tower is really shitty,” one of them says. “They have parties, but kids from the north tower make the parties. North tower people are always at the party no matter where it is. It’s not a party without north tower kids.”
It’s just as hot in the south tower as it is in the north tower. While I’m standing against the fridge with the freezer door open to cool off, Carmen and Sierra come in through the door. I hadn’t even realized they left.
“Some asshole stole our booze,” Sierra says. “We punched him in the dick, took our booze, and ran.”
Not long after that, the door opens again, and two residence assistants walk in. “Alright guys, party’s over,” they say. The words are barely out of their mouths before people start filing out. Party’s over, and it’s time for me to figure out how the hell I’m going to get home.