Chapter 4: Life in Gilkey Hall
"Your friendly RA Lorelei here," said the smiling face that popped in, framed by long, wavy brown hair. "I'm just letting you know that there's a house meeting in the common room in ten minutes, so you should meander on down there. Wait, this isn't a triple." It had obviously taken her a moment to compare the number of beds in the room with the number of girls.
"Oh, I live next door in 511," said Dawn. "My roommate isn't here yet."
"Good to know," Lorelei said with a nod. "I won't bother to knock on that door, then."
"Where's the common room?" asked Edie.
"First floor, I'm afraid," Lorelei responded. They groaned and she smiled sympathetically. "But it'll be a fun meeting, and you'll get some important information, so it's worth the hike. See you soon!"
"I wonder if this is a dorm with a lot of freshmen in it," said Corrie as Lorelei left. "It might be a thing so we can all meet each other."
Dawn nodded and stood up, unfolding her legs slowly from the cross-legged position she'd been sitting in. "We may as well head down now."
They trooped out into the hallway. There were other girls emerging from some of the rooms on the hall, collecting into a chattering mass. Some were in pajamas already. As they headed down the stairs, slightly muddy from all the feet going up and down them but still smelling slightly of bleach from when they had been cleaned over the summer, the group was slowly joined by girls and boys from other floors. Dawn couldn't even hear the slamming of the heavy fire doors at the ends of the hallways over the combined sound of the group. The three of them managed to claim and crowd into a loveseat when they reached the common room, but they were the last; everyone else had to perch on tables or find spots on the floor. It was noisy, but everyone quieted down when Lorelei entered, accompanied by a tall, balding black man in a dark blue uniform with the college's insignia over a pocket on his left side.
"For those of you who've forgotten already, I'm Lorelei," she said, gesturing to herself, "and I'm the RA for the fourth and fifth floors of Gilkey. The RA for the first three floors, Charlie, will be arriving in a day or two, but since most of you freshmen live on the top two floors anyway I'm running this meeting. As you know, the upperclassmen who aren't on sports teams or summer programs aren't here yet, so you have the campus almost to yourself for the next few days." There was a ripple of appreciative laughter. Lorelei talked with her hands, which made her seem engaged with the whole room, and she was smiling with cheery energy.
"First, let me give you the run-down on this building. You're in the common room, which can be used for any legal activity, though if a club schedules meetings here, they get preference; since we have the big TV, that does happen fairly often." Lorelei and the man were standing in front of the TV, actually; it made sense, since the room was set up to have it as the natural focal point for attention. "Across the hall," she pointed, "is the kitchen. It's pretty rudimentary, but there's a microwave if you want to make popcorn and a fridge if you want to store food. Though I'd recommend labeling it if you do." She grinned. "There's also an oven, in case you want to make your wonderful RA some cookies." A few people cheered, making everyone else laugh.
"If you haven't noticed by now--and I hope you have!--there are bathrooms at the end of every hall, opposite from the end with the stairs." Dawn had noticed the bathroom first thing: it was on the other side of her room from Corrie and Edie's room. She hadn't decided yet whether the placement was a good or bad thing. It probably depended on how drunk people on the top floor of Gilkey tended to get. Lorelei continued, "Since this dorm has single-sex floors, the bathrooms are single-sex too--I have the right to write up anyone who's using the wrong bathroom, but that's only if somebody reports it to me, so don't worry about it if it doesn't bother you, but do let me know if it does. If you need anything, I'm here, and if I don't have it myself, I'll probably know who does. And now I'll turn things over to Mark." There was a smattering of applause as Lorelei sat down and the man in the uniform stepped forward.