Continuing the tradition of welcoming a new RA in style.

     We had heard that Lucas, the new Blacker RA, was moving in on Friday, and many conversations were held on the topic of pranking him. The ultimate decision was made to remove the door inside the Womb RA apartment that led to the bedroom and bathroom and replace it with a wall. A group of us sprung into action Thursday night to make this happen. A Home Depot trip in the evening provided the necessary drywall and tools, and we got to work around 10pm. Everything in the bedroom was moved into the living room, save a set of drawers and the bedroom door (taken off its hinges and laid against a wall). The living room was to become the bedroom.
Moving things to the living room.
Everything in place to begin.
     The doorway was filled with drywall, which was plastered into place and then painted to match the walls. We moved the couch that was already in the living room in front of the new wall to hide the lack of trim at the bottom. The final effect, after on and off work until 6am, was a nice smooth wall. A final touch was a banner (reading “Welcome to Blacker Hovse”) and a cake in the bedroom, to be discovered by the RA once the wall had been demolished


2×4 frames were used to hold the drywall in place, and plaster was used to cover its edges.



The master of plaster puts some finishing touches in place before it was time to paint. Going to IHOP is the recommended way to kill time while plaster dries.


The couch was blocking the lack of trim.


What the other side of the wall looked like.
This awaited Lucas in the bedroom.

When Lucas first arrived, he took a look at the room and thought that Housing had screwed him over and put the wall there themselves. He went straight to the housing office to complain and returned with two employees. While he was finding Housing, we left two sledgehammers and a face mask near the apartment. After a brief discussion in the hallway, both Lucas and Housing realized it was a prank (overheard near the end of the conversation: “Well there are sledgehammers outside this door…”). After talking to a few Moles, Lucas took the sledgehammer and went at the wall. It turned out to be a good thing that we’d put two sledgehammers outside the door, because the first one ended up going through the wall (I quote: “You guys came prepared”). He went from angry at Housing to thoroughly enjoying the prank, and was also happy to find the banner and cake awaiting him in his bedroom. The resulting mess was cleaned up that night.


What are these doing there?
Not even moved in and already tearing the place down!
Success! (For the RA. For us, it was time to clean up.)

Welcoming a new RA…

As of this summer, we have a new RA named Adam. He is a pretty awesome guy, and he’ll be covering both Blacker and Ricketts.

We have a history of welcoming our incoming RAs in interesting ways. We do small scale pranks often, but it’s particularly special when we get to use them to introduce new people to our way of life. The summer before my frosh year the RA apartment was filled floor to ceiling entirely with balloons the week before the new RA moved in. Two years ago when our current RAs, Dustin and Katya, moved in, we hung their front door two stories up in the courtyard.

This summer, we may have gone a wee bit overboard. Here are a few of the slight modifications we made to Adam’s new apartment…

The handles on the fridge may be a bit counter intuitive.

The door between the living room/kitchen area and bedroom is locked, but has a specialty passageway just for Adam.

All the taps in the apartment were switched so hot goes to cold and cold goes to hot. In addition, we did something particularly devilish to the bathtub. Usually the handle for the tap faces down when the water is off, and you move the handle up counter-clockwise through cold to hot. In our modified system, the handle starts out facing up when the water is off, and you can turn the knob one way to get hot water, and the other way to get cold. Those are the only two temperatures available… the cold and hot streams cannot be mixed, as the water turns off in between. A bit subtle perhaps, but probably makes for a very confusing bathing experience.

The bathroom was also specially fitted with this personal surveillance device…

…and a special friend, reading the LA Express.

Finally, what may well be the most annoying prank involved the doors to the apartment. Doors in the South Hovses have small interior latches which you need access to in order to open the door from inside. Adam’s apartment has one door that opens to Blacker and one that opens to Ricketts. For the Blacker door, we built a small, very irritating aluminum box that blocked off the locking mechanism on the inside. So if the door is shut, it cannot be opened from within unless you can remove the box. For the Ricketts door, we changed the combination, so it cannot be opened from outside unless you know the new combo. From the outside, it takes quite a bit of time to get from the Ricketts side of the apartment to the Blacker side, involving going down, then up a flight of stairs. Hence, an irritating unidirectional apartment!

Adam has moved in now, and I think had quite a bit of fun discovering our modifications.

Quite a lot of work for a few good laughs, but I think it was well worth it, and I hope Adam did too 🙂