Since bunking together at Carman Hall as freshmen, EIU juniors Lauren Slusarczyk and Rebecca Lynn have always gotten a kick out of making sure theirs was a well-decorated room.
In fact, when the duo decorated their current abode in Andrews Hall, they didn’t even have Housing and Dining Service’s “Love Your Room” photo competition in mind. Despite that fact, the pair recently garnered first place – and 50 dining dollars – when voting tallies for the best-decorated residence hall room were announced on Valentine’s Day.
“We didn’t even know (the contest) was coming up at all,” admitted Slusarczyk, now a graphic design student. “(The room) was already decorated, so we just thought we’d put up a picture.”
Slusarczyk and Lynn were among the many entrants during the Jan. 14-31 submission period and saw their room become a finalist as winners from each residence hall were selected via online voting on Facebook.
“We were just really excited,” said Lynn, whose major is communication sciences and disorders. “We were like: ‘We could have a chance of actually winning this thing.’”
Win they did, while Hannah Osborne and Kayla Myers of Pemberton Hall took second place and the 30 dining dollars that came with it. Third place, awarded to the top entry from McKinney Hall, netted 20 dining dollars for Lauren Raef and Jenna Stevenson.
For the victors, the prize was simply a bonus byproduct of their love for decorating, which was is further fueled by the extra space available in the triple-occupancy room they split.
“(Carman) was really small,” Lynn remembered. “Once we got here last year, we just went crazy with decorating.”
Both students feel making their room feel as welcoming as possible is a key to their decorating style.
“It’s a space you can come back to,” explained Slusarczyk.
“We try to personalize it a lot. We put a lot of stuff up on the wall that means a lot to us; pictures of family and friends.”
Added Lynn: “A lot of stuff from our own rooms at home, too.”
Lynn says the social aspect of residence hall life is what keeps the pair on campus rather than finding an apartment elsewhere in Charleston.
“You meet all these different people from all different parts of Illinois or other states,” said Lynn. “It’s not something you can experience anywhere else.”