Honors Dorm Open Door Competition, but not all interested

By Catherine Ferris

This article is part four in a series addressing student reactions to the Commonwealth Honors Complex.


A sense of community is something students may find comfort in when away from home at college. To help with this, the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC) at the University of Massachusetts offered a three-week competition earlier in the semester which simply required residents to keep their doors open in order to meet fellow dorm mates.

James Jesson/Daily Collegian

This competition was held in CHCRC buildings including Elm and Linden. According to an email sent out by CHCRC Residence Director Andre Manukyan, the point of the competition was to help those living in these areas build a community. To motivate students to participate, prizes would be awarded.

The most successful “suite/apartment can win a $100 gift card to a retailer of [their] choice and [their] floor could win a pizza party,” Manukyan said in the email.

Many of these dorm buildings are suite style, having a common room that leads into the bedrooms. The rules, simply enough, stated the suite/apartment doors had to be open with people sitting in the common area in order to get one point. An RA walked up and down the halls to give points out twice per day.

“The floor with the most points as a proportion to the number of suites/apartments on the floor wins a pizza party,” the email said.

In the case of a tie, there would be a random drawing that would determine the winner.

Because the doors automatically close if left alone, students had to improvise some kind of doorstopper. Despite the prizes, however, many students said they were not interested in participating.

Nancy Chomitz, a sophomore, initially took part in the competition, and said she was “super excited about it.” She went on to say that socializing was much more difficult, especially because of the suites.

Chomitz, however, did not continue with the competition because keeping the automatically closing door open “wasn’t the first thing to think about when coming back from a class.” She also added that despite the point of the competition being to increase student interaction, there also wasn’t much difference in terms of socializing when the door was open.

“People just walked by,” she said

Debbie Tschong, a junior, and her suitemates did not take part in the competition, but received information about the competition through emails. Sophomore Ben Clabault did not participate either, but did receive the emails and updates about the point standings.

Kyle Ostrander, a junior, kept his door open throughout the competition, but didn’t win anything.

“There was some improvement in socializing, but not much,” he said.

The competition, many students said, seemed to not have many people participate, which resulted in less socialization than originally intended. However, those people who did take part in the open door competition managed to meet new people, and won that $100 gift certificate and pizza party for their floor.


Catherine Ferris can be reached at [email protected]