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Zander Willoughby

  • East Hall

    by Zander Willoughby | Feb 06, 2017

    I’m a naturalized Eastinian ( Easterner? Eastonian? Eastois? Eastistani? ). That is to say, I didn’t start out at MU in East Hall, I merely adopted the East life, I was not born to it. My first semester, I lived in Helman (a lovely hall, don’t get me wrong) with its fancy suites, 4 person bathrooms, spacious rooms, etc. I enjoyed the relative luxury of Helman, but I still spent all my time with my friends in East, to the point that I moved there after my first semester at Manchester.

    Some basics about East for those soon coming to Manchester and making their housing decision; East is ‘traditional style residence hall,’ i.e. two-person rooms with communal bathrooms. To the student reading all this and is worrying about having the communal bathroom part, don’t worry. I was just as worried about that too when I was in your shoes and that was part of my reason for originally living in Helman. It’s actually pretty great for two reasons: 1. No cleaning. 2. No waiting. I’ll leave it at that. A note on the heating, East is HOT for the first month of school, but believe me, you’ll appreciate its efficiency when winter comes!

    Since one of us is writing about each residence hall, you’re probably going to read about how Schwalm’s community is the best on campus or Garver is known as the social dorm or Oakwood’s events are the best. I’m telling you now, they're liars, each of them. East’s community is the best; it’s the most social (except maybe Schwalm, but whatever), and the only reason Oakwood’s events would ever come in second is because their RA’s started in East. Not only do we have TWO sitting areas, FOUR study nooks, and a computer lab, but East has TWO pianos (no one else does!), just saying.

    East used to be known as the ‘international dorm,’ which is starting to be shared with Schwalm who are known to be a bit noisy (I’m not back on campus until August so I feel comfortable saying this). The hallways of East are usually filled with Amharic, Arabic, Spanish, and awful Dance Hall music (to each their own…), it gets noisy and rambunctious at times, but the basement is often a great spot for a quiet movie with friends (or a presidential debate party) and the computer lab is always full of people studying away (some people have been known to move in there, even going as far as to bring their own chairs, blankets, coffee pots, and tea kettles [that definitely wasn’t me…]). In the end, I’ve always loved East’s balance of noisy and quiet.

    East is no luxury hotel (though, I heard there were some renovations this summer, so maybe it could be now!), but I call it home, even if I’m 7,000 km away. I love waking up in East and being greeted by everyone in the hallway. I love chatting with someone in the bathroom while I’m brushing my teeth and not thinking that it’s weird. I love walking in the door and joining anyone in front of the TV to watch a match together.  I love fighting over the kitchen in the basement and then combining meals with friends (or newfound friends) in the end. I love being away from the place I called home my whole life before coming to Manchester, but always feeling right at home.

    Zander E. Willoughby ’18 is a Political Science & French major & Peace Studies minor, and a former Multicultural Affairs Programmer, Student Senate Vice-President, Model U.N. Secretary-General and more. He is currently studying in Strasbourg, France at the Institut d'Études Politiques at Université de Strasbourg. His future plans include working in International Relations or International Law, hopefully within the U.N. system.