September 2002 (v5 i1)
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Freshmen Housing Gets Creative
by Elizabeth Barksdale, Contributing Writer

CAMPUS — This year UT welcomes the largest freshman class in its history. “We’re glad to have each and every one of you here,” announced president Larry Faulkner to the incoming students. “We’re just not sure where to cram, er I mean, house all of you yet.” The housing problem at UT has grown more severe in recent years, as the top ten percent rule packs campus with homogenous white kids from the Houston suburbs.

“I wish they’d get this sorted out soon,” said engineering freshman Karl McHabzen, who is currently living in a cardboard box in an alley off Guadalupe Street. “I mean it’s close to campus and everything, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. But my roommate’s kinda weird.” “Guh. Damned kids. Rock on,” said McHabzen’s roommate, a seventy-year old schizophrenic drag rat known as Pebbles. McHabzen sighed. “Pebbles is a psych grad student. I guess that’s why we don’t have much in common,” he said.

Other freshmen have different difficulties with their living arrangements. “When I got a letter telling me I was going to have supplemental housing at Jester, I thought that meant I would have a smaller room or something,” said Jen Chicwa, a physics major. “I wasn’t quite expecting…this,” she continued, gesturing at the industrial-sized microwave she now lives in with eight other freshmen. “The cafeteria ladies are pretty good about letting us know when they need to zap some leftover squash surprise or whatever. But I’m afraid they’re going to forget one of these days and turn it on when we’re all in here.”

“My hair is starting to fall out and I think I might be growing a third eye from the radiation,” said Erin Sparksowski, one of Chicwa’s roommates. “But I’m glad to be here at UT”" she said, grinning and briefly flashing a ‘Hook-em’ sign before her thumb fell off. “Oh that’s nothing,” said Chicwa, picking it up. “I really do bleed orange now.”

Additional alternative housing arrangements include the basement of Garrison Hall. Faulkner admits that this building “has technically been condemned since the early seventies. It’s not even really safe to hold classes there if you want to read the fine print in the building code violations. But why split hairs? The kids have a roof over their heads and they’re quite comfortable there.”

“I’ve hollowed out one of the clumps of asbestos hanging out of my wall and stored my socks in there,” said philosophy freshman Bob Miltase when asked about his living arrangements in Garrison. “It could be worse I guess.”
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