The Madrone, Maple, Tan Oak and Pepperwood dorms on Nov. 17 | Photo by Dakota Cox

Dorm students cling to the college experience

Students living on-campus concerned as Humboldt County enters the red COVID-19 tier

Students living on-campus concerned as Humboldt County enters the red COVID-19 tier

Students living in dorms, on-campus at Humboldt State University received a sliver of the college experience offered in a normal semester.

Eli Farrington, an undeclared freshman, came to HSU to escape an unhealthy home-life and an unsafe place to live during the pandemic.

“I think it’s pretty safe [here], compared to where I came from, which is Oakland,” Farrington said. “Which is way less safe in terms of corona.”

Farrington enjoys having a triple suit all to himself, but he’s nervous about sharing common areas and only goes into the kitchen to do his laundry. Having little in common with his dorm mates, Farrington spends much less time interacting with people than he expected on a college campus.

“They put me in Tan Oak, which is the student athlete dorm and I’m not a student athlete at all,” Farrington said. “I don’t really have any friends in my dorm.”

His appreciation for the nature surrounding campus, having friends from Oakland that came to HSU this year and family tension, Farrington plans to continue living on campus in the spring.

“I’d rather be here than stuck at home with my parents and also [a lot] of my friends have gone off to college too so there’s nothing really waiting for me at home,” Farrington said.

Lake Mcleod, a political science major, is another freshman experiencing college life behind a screen of a laptop. Mcleod came to campus intending to live every ounce of the traditional college experience as possible.

“Being here is helping me experience new things,” Mcleod said. “Personally, for me, back home is a different phase that I’ve moved on from. So, being here, I’m able to grow into the person that I really wanted to be.”

Given that the university has restricted student interaction opportunities this semester, Mcleod feels more of an emphasis should be placed on the behavior of students on campus.

“I feel like most people are staying as safe as possible but I’ve still seen huge groups and things that are a little questionable,” Mcleod said. “Which the university can’t control everybody, but I feel like it could be a bit better in terms of restrictions.”

Mcleod’s main concern is the lenient testing regulations for students who leave the area and interact outside of their bubble.

Students living in the dorms were only tested upon arrival back in August. All testing and quarantining currently operates under an honors system but, Mcleod has personally met people who’ve broken it.

“Random people that I’ve talked to have said ‘oh yeah, I’ve been here and there’ and it doesn’t sound like they’ve been tested when they come back or they haven’t really been social distancing,” Mcleod said.

Mcleod was also bothered by HSU hosting San Jose State University’s football team earlier in the semester. Considering how dorm students are restricted to host guests from other areas of housing and no more than two people are allowed at a table in the J’s dining area.

“I feel like it was hypocritical in a lot of ways,” Mcleod said. “Having a whole football team here from a different county, from [a place with high cases], for them to come over here where we had low cases, that didn’t really sit too well with me and a whole bunch of other people I know.”

River Ruiz, a political science major, has been living in the dorms for the past three semesters. His biggest reason for returning this semester was his on-campus job with HSU dining services. His experiences this semester led him to begin searching for other employment opportunities.

“They need to make a lot of improvements,” Ruiz said. “The population is dwindling a lot, so the current workers, they like overload [them].”

Ruiz will be making separate trips home to Southern California for Thanksgiving and Christmas because he needs to work between the holiday breaks.

“It’s just crazy,” Ruiz said. “Cause you’re scared that you might come in contact with someone and you can’t go home because you have to quarantine.”

No longer having the same access to extracurricular activities, Ruiz is grateful to have work as a distraction from school, despite the risks and drawbacks of this semester.

“I know a lot of people that live on campus and go to school, they just stay here all the time and they don’t really have a good college experience,” Ruiz said. “[This semester is] kind of depressing, but it’s a depressing time and everybody’s getting through it.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program