Disclaimer: This was written back when I used to live on campus; I dug it out of my drafts folder for posting at the time of year when people are thinking about where to live.
Rex Nettleford Hall of Residence on the UWI Mona campus was once the crème de la crème. Everyone who was anyone wanted to live there and everyone who was someone did. But Rex celebrated their tenth anniversary last year with flagging spirits and waning enthusiasm. The torch of hypeness has been passed on to the newcomers Towers (Elsa Leo Rhynie Hall) and New Postgrad (Marlene Hamilton Hall).
But even in the heyday of Rexan fortitude, I still wouldn’t have wanted to stay there. Here are six reasons why.
1. The hall fees are not the most economical. Last year, the 9 month stay on the 900 strong hall costed $214,120. (Seacole’s single room fees by comparison: $180,200).
2. Hot water depends on the weather. Rex’s water heaters are solar powered, meaning no hot water if the sun don’t shine. I live and breathe hot water. Maslov left it off his hierarchy by accident. Seacole’s hot water is like the U.S. Postal Service: sun, rain, sleet or snow, I will always be toasty in the shower.
3. The rooms are SO TINY. A Rex room holds a single bed, a closet, a desk and a tiny shelf, all touching edges. It’s about half the size of my room on Seacole, and I’m not even exaggerating for the purposes of this list.
4. The laundry has opening and closing hours. How do you beat the crowd? You don’t. The freedom to do laundry at 2AM is on the Bill of Human Rights. In the fine print. Trust me on this. I’ll be making an independent inquiry.
5. The walls are paper thin. Privacy is a concept. On a flat, everyone always knows what everyone else is doing. Listening to Vibes Kartel? I can sing along with the lyrics. Using the bathroom? I can hear you pooping. That kind of intimacy is. . . undesirable.
6. 900 strong. Rex has always boasted the largest residence of any other hall on campus – claiming to be able to house 900 students. I’m pretty sure this number has dwindled over the years because their milkshake no longer brings all the boys to the yard, but they still house an impressive number of people. Which makes me distinctly uncomfortable. I’m not the biggest fan of large crowds so the 200 or so girls that live on Seacole feel more like a family than anything else.
Despite all the negatives (which I suppose could be positives to someone somewhere), there is one thing Rex has over Seacole*:
1. You only share amenities with 7 other people. I would gladly give up the 30 girls to a kitchen/bathroom aspect of Seacole life for Rex’s controlled 8-person chaos.
*The fact that my boyfriend lives on Rex almost made the list, but I realized that wouldn’t have been a plus to anyone else but me.