In my previous years at Lewis & Clark I had ventured into my dorms to find name cards in the shapes of cute animals or decorated with stars. When I approached my door, I laid my eyes upon a construction paper cutout of a chlamydia cell emblazoned with my name. Indeed, on every door was a different STD name card—who knew there were so many!
This year, in response to Taylor Swift’s tour, a new era began. Very much in the spirit of Swift herself, campus policy states that couples can now room together.
I soon noticed more updates to residential life. Each shower had been installed with a double showerhead. A sign proudly announced that four legged showers were no longer a policy violation — it is just bonding and making memories in a new environment, and is that not exactly what college is about? Like the sign at that smoke spot with the stained hammock that says, “Clothes are the most deeply ingrained capitalist regime.” Taking them off together is a great way to strengthen community.
When I passed my RA’s door, it all began to make sense. There hung the crown jewel of all the themed regalia: an LMFT certificate from none other than the prestigious Labia & Cock College. And no, LMFT did not stand for Lost Men, Found Tits (although people really should get that as an option on their coming-out certificate.) It was the real deal: My RA was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
But abandon no hope yet, ye who are entering each other around here! Contrary to its non-inclusive title, the training does include situationships, FWBs and that one blue haired girl with a nose ring who said your Carhartt overalls were sexy.
I talked to my RA, a kindly white man named Lichen with a pornstache and assuredly no implicit bias whatsoever, about what training he had undergone to reach such a position of the utmost responsibility. The first step was a trip to the seventh level of hell (passing first through layers one through six: NST groups, classes, hallmates, clubs, jobs, and parties) – dating apps.
Each RA was given exclusive pictures of a celebrity with which to make a Tinder profile and field the chaos that ensued in the DMs. Lichen had the toughest job, for he was Timothée Chalamet. He referred to his undercover experience as on Tinder as a “crash course in the girls and the gays,” necessary training for LCers.
To recover from the Tinder trauma, training then segued to a calmer structure of Powerpoint watching and crocheting under desks. They covered all the essentials, from bi panic to daddy issues, god complexes to polycules, rounding it all out with a classic what-the-hell-is-foreskin-and-will-it-hurt-me lecture.
I asked Lichen if he had had any residents seek his help yet. He responded by melting in a pile on the floor and asking if he could hide from them in my closet. (I told him he might already be in the closet.)
Apparently, on the first day of class he had to untangle an orgy of quad roommates when their piercings got stuck to each other. On the second, he fielded two bawling freshmen who claimed that the same baseball player had promised his sweaty jersey to each of them. On the third, he had to file for annulment after someone got married in the ravine because they didn’t want to hurt their NST lover’s feelings by saying no. So on, and so on, until on the seventh day, he rested. Oh wait, what was that about god complexes?
Who is to say how the dorm drama will evolve as the year continues and the STD name cards become more and more relevant. I for one can’t see anything wrong with an overworked 20 year old holding up the mental health of an entire hall.
All I know is that noise canceling headphones are essential and Lichen would greatly appreciate it if you brought him tissues because his residents go through them faster than FSU’s free condoms.