The Daily Aztec

Geographical isolation creates bond

by Alex Noble, Staff Writer

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Much like throwing a party or pulling an all-nighter, living in a dorm is considered a rite of passage for many college students. The first precious taste of freedom resonates with students long after they leave their twin beds.  However, some on-campus living situations can feel like an obligation rather than a “rite.”

As with any other school, some facilities are simply newer and better quality while others unfortunately fall into disrepair.

Since the recent closure of Tenochca, Chapultepec, assumes the unofficial title of the ‘worst dorm’ in many students’ minds at San Diego State.

Affectionately referred to as “Crappy Chappy,” stories of power outages, flooded bathrooms, elevator malfunctions and of course, the “Chappy Plague” has relegated the dorm to the butt of many jokes and disappointment of many freshmen.

While some may say that it’s only fair that the under-classmen pay their dues, others see a problem with paying the steepest rent in the college area, the residence halls, just to essentially live in a closet.

Despite its nasty reputation, the dorm enables residents to form tighter bonds with their roommates and floor mates.

While other students may be sitting pretty in their suites or newly renovated dorms, they’re also missing out on a unique community out west. Despite any initial disappointment, most students glean a more relaxed and positive attitude from living there.

Psychology sophomore Bailie Rivera not only lived in Chapultepec last year, but also returned to serves as a resident advisor for the building. 

“The good thing about Chappy is that everyone is so much closer,” she said. “It really feels like a big family.”

Although she does admit that the building could use newer elevators to support its more than 800 tenants, Rivera said she sees the volume of residents in the 11-story building as a benefit rather than a hindrance.

“Living on a floor with almost 100 other people, you have a much higher chance of finding at least a few people you can click with,” she said.

Nutrition freshman and current Chapultepec resident Jackie Laniado echoed this sentiment, saying she believes it is actually easier for Chapultepec residents to make friends.

“I feel like it’s easy to make friends in Chappy just because there’s so many of us,” she said. “There is always someone in the lounge you can talk to and become friends with.”

The longer trek from campus also facilitates a greater sense of unity and cooperation.

“I do think that being the only dorm located so far on the left side is not as safe as the other dorms,” Rivera said. “But the bright side is that you can always find someone to walk with you so you’re not alone.”

While the road to Chapultepec is dimly lit and less populated, it is also the closest dorm to the university police, offering students greater peace of mind. Laniado said she feels that the close relationship amongst residents is not despite the dorm’s isolated location but because of it.

“Everybody assumes that living in Chappy is a pain because it’s so far,” she said. “But I actually like its distance because it keeps people in the dorm more.”

Many facilities, mostly suites, observe a “closed-door” policy, Laniado noted that this is definitely not the case for Chapultepec, saying that everyone’s doors are always open, welcoming anyone.

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