by Bekah Ervin
As a prospective student, I was given the grand tour of Millsaps College: the Bowl in the flowery month of April, a posh admissions building, and the well-kept (and expensive) atrium housing in the New South dormitory. I was told that freshmen don’t live there, but I was never shown the terrors of Bacot.
The online photos for a Bacot dorm room really, shall we say, overemphasize what you get. The photos don’t show that one closet is only halfway accessible because it has one door, versus the two doors that the other has. The photos don’t show the layers of dust that a new resident walks into on move in day. The worn beds, perpetually dirty floors, and grimy air vents are definitely not in those photos. Something much more important is definitely not part of any tour or online photo gallery: Bacot bathrooms.
Most would probably agree that the community bathroom will never be desirable. Showers being full when you’re late, lack of courtesy flushes, and people that don’t use air freshener seem to be an incoming student’s worst nightmare. In my experience, however, these are the least of my worries in the dorm’s bathroom. My first time using a sink on my hall included trying three different sinks, and only one of them worked properly. My first shower at Millsaps left me feeling unclean. There was grime and hair caked along the base of the shower as well as in between the tiles of the wall and floor. The water didn’t even get warm until I was almost done showering. I went to bed feeling pretty miserable, when a shower usually is my way of relaxing.
These conditions continue on into the final weeks of my first year experience. I have sent in more maintenance requests than I can count on two hands. From clogged sink and shower drains to a toilet that was in a perpetual flush, I am fed up with Bacot bathrooms. With new sports facilities and a soon-coming performing arts center (along with Christian Center renovations), I question why major Bacot renovations have not been a higher priority. As a student that has always felt uncomfortable and homesick in this particular dorm, it could be something to consider in regards to freshmen retention rates.